Wed, May 20, 2009
So far, complaints of heavy-handed
security regulations with no apparent security benefit have drawn
only disinterested yawns from most US lawmakers. However... a
significant loss of revenue to US passenger airlines MAY get
The Associated Press reports that over the next few weeks,
thousands of crates of Washington State cherries will be loaded as
cargo onto passenger flights leaving the west coast of the US for
markets in Pacific Rim countries. Growers use passenger planes
because ships are too slow, and cargo-only flights are not seen as
frequent or reliable enough.
But in 2007, Congress passed a law requiring the phase-in of
cargo inspections for all airline flights, including international
ones. Now that implementation is reaching wide-body planes used for
Trans-Pacific service, some growers are talking about using planes
originating north of the US border in Canada.
The US Transportation Security Administration says the screening
process will be fast, and that avoiding disruptions to commerce is
a priority. The test will come in the next few weeks.
Sylvia Scherer, a customs broker for Universal Freight
Forwarders in Tukwila, Washington, matter-of-factly tells AP, quote
- "We work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get the cherries
moving during harvest...We'll do what we have to do to move the
freight and either meet the regulations or avoid them."
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