Vol. 10  No. 14                    WORLD'S MOST LOVED AIR CARGO PUBLICATION SINCE 2001                       Tuesday February 15, 2011


     They used to entice prospective buyers of Packard automobiles, which were the standard of 1930s motoring luxury in USA, by saying: “Ask the Man Who Drives One.”
     So here at the top are a couple of reactions to that CNS Mini Conference held last week in Arlington, Virginia that FlyingTypers received from some people who paid to be there.

     Gregg Borgeson (left) of Ex Works, Inc. said: “I thought it was an excellent conference. Well-qualified speakers on a broad variety of topics, all tying into air cargo compliance.
     “I learned a great deal, particularly about the enlightened attitude and approach of various government regulatory agencies toward fines and penalties.
     “CNS and Mike White did a very nice job with this conference.”
     George Baglieri, (right) Senior Manager Operations & Compliance Americas, Swiss WorldCargo adds:
     “For me, not only was the content useful and informative, but the conference (and the promise to repeat the venue) reestablished the IATA/CNS commitment to act as an intermediary between the various
government agencies and the carrier community here in the U.S.
     “Among the many informative presentations, one that sticks out in my mind is the pilot for a combined initiative between the TSA and CBP to obtain additional advanced data directly from forwarders.
     “It's a refreshing approach to see these agencies finally look for data from the source, and not burden the carrier community with supplying data they don't own.
     “I would definitely attend again. I would like to see the possibility to hold an additional carrier-only session to discuss SSI (Sensitive Security Information) topics directly with the TSA.”
    A solid 50-plus attendees came together on a frigid February morning in Arlington, VA for the first CNS mini conference of the year. The successful combination of current day issues, high-level speakers and an overall very well managed and moderated event make this an easy winner. It could turn out to be a tough act to follow.
    Mike White, (left) CNS’s Assistant Director of Cargo Standards and Facilitation is that rare air cargo professional who incorporates depth and breadth of industry matters with an easy going, approachable manner. The choice of presenters covered the entire compliance spectrum, from security to commerce, foreign trade, compliance, customs and cargo data. Having representatives from the airlines, freight forwarders, trucking, ground handlers, automation providers and government agencies made for an effective exchange of information and ideas that the global supply chain has to stay on top of every day.
    If I have one complaint, it’s the unending alphabet soup of Washington insiders; acronyms tossed around incessantly. Here is a sampling for which I hope we can one day offer a glossary: CSA, IACSSP, STA, IACMS, OMB, TSA, CBP, ACE, ITDS, IMO, WCO, ITN, ICS, ENS, ATD, ISF, HTS, ATS/ACAS, AES, NTC, QP/QX, CCSP – and I probably missed a few! Has this made your eyes water yet?
    You have to be and remain an optimist to weave your way through the sheer size of this ball of wax and the volumes of freight involved. Brandon Fried, the Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association, counted 4,250 freight forwarders in the U.S. registered with the TSA. Sandra Scott, Senior Director Compliance at SEKO Worldwide and a walking institutional encyclopedia, mentioned 106 government agencies that deal with international freight matters. John McGowan, Sr. VP Border Security with Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services, said 44 percent of all consumer products in this country are imported and represent 75 percent of unsafe product recalls.
    To get this air freight to and from the airports, there are more than 2,000 trucking companies serving 107 airlines operating 25,000 flights a month in the U.S., with seven million air waybills monthly, importing from 194 countries with exports carried on passenger aircraft processed by 1,170 screening facilities. This qualifies as a big country in which government, law enforcement and the private sector coexist despite constant challenges, changing regulations and a delicate balancing act between regulatory and customer requirements, which often conflict. Some respect is in order.
    According to Jason Hooks with British Airways World Cargo, airlines operate in one of the most heavily regulated environments in the world – no kidding! What IATA and other trade associations pushed for years has picked up speed when governments waved the magic wand of mandates for security reasons. What seemed impossible became yesterday’s deliverable and we haven’t slowed down a bit; to the contrary, there is more complexity and complications and very long global supply chains, growing cargo volumes, a multitude of intermediaries and agents affecting everything from processes to the quality and timeliness of the data air cargo delivers day in and day out. Rather impressive!
    It’s human nature to focus on the many things that are less than perfect in this world, starting with a lack of institutional understanding of what cargo is and the constant battle to educate Washington and prevent kneejerk overreaction, which could destroy the industry. What stood out was how little mention there was of the actual cause for all these vast security regimes. A close second is that it is accepted and so much effort, resources, time and money is spent to combat the elusive terrorist mind.
    The world changed on 9/11 and in its aftermath wave after wave of new measures were put in place and progress was being made. Then came a lone (or not) person in Yemen on October 29, 2010 and the entire carefully erected security edifice was stripped of its impenetrability in one fell swoop. Since then the ‘known shipper’ will likely need to evolve to the ‘trusted shipper,’ although according to Todd Owen, Director of Cargo Security and Conveyance at CBP, 70 percent of inbound air cargo is express, i.e., not the typical airline/forwarder, commercial shipper community which already has various screening procedures in place. It’s kind of strange that the focus is always on cargo carried on passenger aircraft, even when evidence to the contrary is staring you in the face, as was the case here. Perhaps the express carriers have better lobbyists in Washington who manage to keep it under wraps and out of the headlines.
    Yes, in response to the new threat a joint CBP/TSA effort has emerged, the Air Cargo Targeting Group, which is working with industry to develop an initiative to – I paraphrase - “move the borders back” and mitigate risk without adverse impact of the economy and stakeholders; a lofty, imminently sensitive goal. What it means is a pilot that has been underway for a while and started shortly after the incident, using a subset of standard shipment data to report to CBP/TSA well in advance of flight departure to the US from airports in the Middle East and North Africa. Running this information through the Advance Targeting System for threat assessment positions the agencies to act rather than react to high-risk shipments that are a relatively small portion of the total volume with minimal impact on the industry.
    This Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) is located at the National Targeting Center (NTC) and is based on receiving data from the entity that has the shipment at the earliest stage in the shipping process; most likely, this is the forwarder. Much work is being done to the extent possible on establishing the messaging between the parties using existing transmission pipelines in order to avoid overwhelming information technology systems.     The procedural concepts and resolution protocols are yet to be defined, including how the “OK,” “DO NOT LOAD” and the “Need more information” categories will be transacted and translated into operational terms.
The way CBP/TSA and the industry associations see it, these are proactive steps aimed at both addressing a problem while also calming down regulators’ nerves and convincing them to refrain from tabling draconian measures, which could bring about a collapse of the supply chains. CBP/TSA has its specialists in 97 countries around the world, working in conjunction with the State Department and Commerce. Global harmonization of air cargo screening is a daunting task that allows some hope that reason will prevail by applying a risk-based, multi-layered security approach the trade advocates, rather than the regulators’ envisioned vast, systematic, 100 percent-of-everything apparatus that the TSA uses in passenger screening.
    Despite best efforts, (and this conference was a testimony to the fact that CBP/TSA are working closely with industry, which is a huge positive) it takes around 24 months to develop and roll out a systemic response to a past threat. The old adage here is that the bad guys only need to succeed once and, as the Yemen improvised device amply demonstrated, they are getting more sophisticated all the time. So it’s a deadly, asymmetrical catch up game of massive proportions, which costs the developed world gigantic resources it can ill afford. As long as the price of inconveniencing your own population and making the global supply chains much more challenging than they need to be is lower than facing up to and dealing with the real threat effectively, politicians will stay the course.
    While of a different dimension, a case in point is the impending lithium batteries controversy; although there’s anecdotal but no scientific evidence, several incidents, including the UPS 747 freighter crash in Dubai have been attributed to these batteries. A DOT Final Rule is under review at the OMB; the rulemaking would prohibit the transportation of primary lithium batteries and cells as cargo aboard passenger-carrying aircraft and would apply to both foreign and domestic passenger-carrying aircraft entering, leaving, or operating in the United States. It is hoped that a rigorous cost-benefit-analysis will reveal that such a regulation would make the U.S. less competitive, and this in a time of a highly unstable economy. Reconcile that with the president’s National Export Initiative and its Control Reform measures which among others, aims to increase U.S. jobs by increasing the number of companies exporting and expanding the number of markets current U.S. companies sell to.
     A lot of invaluable information condensed in two days and the parade of high level government officials on hand and in the know ready to address and discuss current matters resulted in a well-received conference. Watch this space for more details.
Ted Braun


Boeing Hopes High With B747-8I

     Boeing rolled out the passenger version of its B747-8I at its Everett, Washington facility this past weekend.
     Scheduled to takeoff next month, the aircraft will enter service with Lufthansa in early 2012.
    Boeing has 107 orders for the B747-8: 74 freighter versions and 33 passenger aircraft.
     Here is a future look at the size, profile and movement of the big, new bird.


Women On Top

At Kingfisher Airlines

     January 2011 has been good to two ladies working for Kingfisher Airlines. Capt. Bavicca Bharathi has become the world's youngest licensed commercial pilot and commander at the age of 21 years.
     For the Bharathi family, especially Bavicca’s mother, Judith, (right in photo above) the honor is equally important. She has been more than a mother to Bavicca – indeed, she has been with her as a pilot. Judith Jeslin Bharathi joined her daughter to become a pilot only after her daughter decided that she would learn to fly. The young, chirpy Bavicca explained why her mother joined her:
     “During the training, I had to stay away from home in a small town called Shirpur, 200 km from Indore. Compared to the urban setup I had been brought up in, the Flying Club was not as well connected. But I was very fortunate to have my mother with me. I never felt homesick and she made sure that I was comfortable.”
     The young lady is grateful that being a woman has not affected her training or work. After getting the license, both mother and daughter joined Kingfisher Airlines. Both of them shared an apartment and studied together during their training. They were always together throughout their journey to complete the 200 hours of flying and attain their commercial pilot license (CPL). Both of them share the dream of flying the same aircraft one day, with mother as co-pilot and young Bavicca as commander.
     Bavicca is thankful to Kingfisher Airlines, which has helped her set a few records.
     “Kingfisher has played a major role in helping me achieve two records. They expedited my flying so that I could complete the Advanced Training Pilot’s License (ATPL) requirements in time. They also relaxed the company policy so that I could be promoted to the post of commander.”
      After she finishes the required flying hours, she will also become a Management Pilot. Currently, she is flying from Chennai to stations like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, etc. Incidentally, she smashed the earlier record held by Capt. Nivedita Bhasin of Indian Airlines, who had become a commander at the age of 23 years.
     Bavicca joined Kingfisher on July 30, 2007 and on her 21st birthday, May 3, 2010, she acquired her ATPL. She flew her first flight, IT 2439/2440, with Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) on December 29. It was an ATR-72-500 with more than 50 passengers on the Bangalore-Hyderabad-Bangalore route.
     “Flying is all about pre-planning and staying ahead. So the aircraft status, weather at destination, Notams, communication, standard operating procedures, crew resource management, safety, etc. are some of the things that run through my mind while piloting a flight,” she confides.
      She has also interacted with the passengers before flying the aircraft: “After doing the walk around, I have sometimes walked in with the passengers and I do not think that my being a woman affects them as they know that they are in safe hands. After all, Kingfisher Airlines places guest safety and comfort above everything else.”
Tirthankar Ghosh/Flossie

Tulsi Mirchandaney

Olga Pleshakova

Lucy Ntuba

Lina Rutkauskien

Karen Rondino

Iwona Korpalska

Lisa Schoppa

Gloria Whittington

Rachel Humphrey

Jenni Frigger-Latham

Gabriela Ahrens

Lisa Wilczek

Salma Ali Saif Bin Hareb


DHL Invests In The U.S.

     Deutsche Post subsidiary DHL has announced an investment of 16.5 million euros (the equivalent in U.S. dollars is 22.5 million) for expanding its hub facility at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport. The decision is a result of growing demand by its international clients, says DHL. The project includes the building of nine new aircraft gates for loading and unloading wide-body freighters that link North America with Europe and the Fareast, plus the enlargement of the existing apron at CVG.
     Said Ian Clough, (right) CEO for DHL Express U.S.: “As businesses increasingly go global to capitalize on emerging trends in intercontinental trade, the expansion of our U.S. hub Cincinnati will position DHL to accommodate the growing needs of our shippers and importers.”
     The project is part of a larger plan to upgrade and expand the cargo facilities at CVG, including a state-of-the-art IT system. Only last October, DHL had announced a $12.5 million U.S. expenditure for improving the throughput of its packages, boxes and parcels. Roughly 90 percent of the total DHL volume entering the U.S.A. is handled at Cincinnati airport.
      According to the integrator, the investment is a strong signal for DHL’s ongoing commitment to the U.S., which is a key pillar of the integrator's global network. During the past two years the German express giant restructured its U.S. business by giving up its highly loss-making domestic transports within the U.S.A. and concentrating solely on international conveyance of shipments. At the same time, DHL introduced new time definite import and export products and added flights from Frankfurt and Paris to the United States.
Heiner Siegmund


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