TSA talks to Kaamco Cargo

TSA talks to Kaamco Cargo
Kaamco cargo committee chairman Brian Cooley with TSA James Fitzgerald in hushed tones during recent committee meeting.
Photo by Jeff Yapalater

The October Kaamco Cargo Committee meeting was lead by Chairman Brian Cooley who welcomed the TSA to the group for an unclassified report. Topics of the meeting included reports from JFK Security, status of the USPS for holiday mail, new guard post procedures, upcoming cargo forum, discussion on new fees for security companies, PAPD update and general announcements.


The TSA presentation focused on the insider threats to the airport with unclassified material at this meeting. According to Jim Fitzgerald, compliance for TSA, this presentation was an example of working more closely with the airlines. Fitzgerald said as part of an enforcement policy TSA “wants a buy-in from airlines to go out with us to see how we test and what we do. It goes a long way, “ he said. There was conversation about TSA looking more closely at mail. The newly passed FAA Reauthorization bill has a provision for third party canine companies. According to TSA, they will regulate but other companies will do the actual certifying of canine companies that will be allowed to sell their services to airport companies such as inspecting cargo.

Holiday mail

It was reported that the United States postal service is ready for the holiday mail rush and that Building 197 of 20,000sf of operating space will be open as of November 1 to handle the overflows which is expected to triple normal loads. Wally Luber said there will be an additional 150-175 workers to support the holiday influx of all types of mail.

JFK security

JFK Security informed the committee that the new “ Info Cop” system would begin deployment at guard posts throughout JFK Airport. Used in Newark and LaGuardia, this system is a simple way to identify persons entering the guard posts that may have a warrant outstanding or on a security risk list. Persons under escort will need to scan their drivers license and within seconds will either see a green or red light displayed. If red, do not pass go; The PAPD will be called for a secondary vetting.

Cargo Congestion Forum

Peter Debenigno of Mobile Air mentioned that the Air Forwarders Association is sponsoring a town hall meeting with a panel on Nov. 13, 7:30pm in Building 14, in the cafeteria. Topics will include congestion and a building site proposal. He said it will be an informal meeting about dealing with congestion in the cargo areas and hoped for workable solutions after the forum.

Rising airport fees

The topic of rising fees and taxes on security companies was discussed. It was felt that the 5% fee to the Port Authority, the additional sales tax, the looming minimum hourly salary increases, costs associated with the sexual harassment law going into effect in December along with an advance security payment to be placed in a holding account was deemed excessive by security companies at the airport. According to one security executive these additional fees are going to make it make it very difficult to pass along to the companies seeking security. He said that the airlines would face similar pressures and possibly reduce the number of security staffing and thereby reducing the safety at the airport. It was said that the Port Authority has not listened to the needs and concerns of the security supply companies which is having a negative impact on the ability to do business at the airport.

Police Updates

The PAPD representative reported that the upcoming holiday season is vulnerable to a higher level of thefts during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday weeks. Traditionally a higher theft of high end merchandise, weapons detection and other insider irregularities occur during these two weeks. He said that a higher number than normal of employees working at the airport take off these days and thieves wait for this time to strike.

more on cargo. There was also mention of possible irregularities with surrounding check cashing locations with suspected fraud in this area. It was suggested to inform employees of this situation.

Rescue dogs

The Ark animal center reported that there is still a high incidence of service dog “nannies” with rescue dogs coming into JFK without proper papers of ownership and compliance. Many are not actual owners of these dogs resulting in immediate returning of these animals to their country of origin. Chamber of Commerce

Joe Clabby of the Chamber of Commerce said that there will be a security outreach program for security companies sometime in December. He also mentioned that the Chamber of Commerce will have a lawyer familiar with the next sexual harassment laws that will speak at an upcoming Chamber seminar.

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