Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) was fully ready to meet the new TSA requirements to X-ray screen 100% of air cargo from Hong Kong to the USA carried on passenger aircraft.
The requirement – which became mandatory from December 12th – is absorbing only 25% of the company’s 500 tonnes per day X-ray screening capability. Hactl has been screening all cargo to the USA for some time in preparation for the TSA 100% screening deadline, and has experienced no delays.
Says Hactl MD Mark Whitehead: “Compliance with the new regulations has gone smoothly, and the situation is fully under control.” He adds that media reports suggesting the airport would not be able to cope with the screening requirement, and that resulting delays to export cargo could threaten the airport’s status as the world number one cargo hub, have proven ill-founded.
“The reports were misleading. The new TSA requirement is only that cargo from Hong Kong to the USA carried on passenger aircraft must be screened. For Hactl, that amounts to some 11-13% of all US-bound cargo, and only 25% of our daily X-ray screening capability.”
He continues: “Speed and efficiency are obviously a key part of Hong Kong’s offering to airlines and the air cargo community, but these are in no way threatened by the X-ray requirements as they stand today.
“Should the TSA requirement eventually be expanded to include cargo carried on freighters, that would certainly involve greater volumes and place more pressure on the airport’s air cargo industry – but Hactl is already attuned to this possibility, and will be expanding its screening capability in anticipation.