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OCR for page 8
8Elimination or Reduction of Baggage Recheck for Arriving International Passengers From November 2010 to January 2011, CBP made more than 190 seizures of fake merchandise with a total retail value of more than $2 million at a medium-sized hub. In January 2011, CBP intercepted an individual who had swallowed more than 90 pellets of heroin at a medium-sized international airport. In April 2011, CBP seized 13 packages containing more than 33 pounds of cocaine at a smaller international airport. In addition to CBP's mandate to manage border risks, its sister agency TSA has the mandate to protect the nation's transportation systems, including aviation. From the perspective of TSA, the concept of eliminating or reducing baggage recheck has a very limited, if any, risk value because all bags will be screened per TSA standards before being loaded onto the outbound aircraft. Differentiating Between "Eliminate" and "Reduce" The purpose of this study is to identify opportunities to eliminate or reduce the need for baggage recheck at U.S. airports. Because of the vast number of potential interpretations (e.g., system-wide, airport-by-airport, sector-by-sector) of the terms "eliminate" and "reduce" and the importance in understanding the differences, the findings and conclusions of this study are based on the fol- lowing definitions: Eliminate--Remove the need for baggage recheck entirely, on an airport-by-airport basis, so that any eligible connecting passenger can have bags routed by default to the next flight segment. Reduce--Define a subset of passengers whose process may be facilitated. The limitations that may be applied at the airport in question could include airline, class of passenger, country of origin, sector, status with CBP trusted traveler programs, etc. The ability to eliminate or reduce the need for baggage recheck at an airport also depends on numerous other elements, including the following: Size and layout of airport International traffic volume Historic and future risk analyses Short- versus long-term solutions Each of these elements will be addressed in this report. Furthermore, this study is based on the understanding that only those passengers who are connecting travelers (i.e., in possession of onward ticket and baggage, if applicable) are eligible for eliminated or reduced baggage recheck procedures. Research Approach The project included activity from 2009 to 2011 for the purpose of conducting analyses on the market, facility, flow, and risk management aspects related to baggage recheck elimination or reduction. The following approach was used: Review of Connection Volumes--The first priority was to determine the extent of the demand for baggage recheck services. Through a review of entry data to the United States, a model was developed to estimate the size of connecting traffic for international arrivals at U.S. airports. Inventory of Current Recheck Procedures--A second priority was to examine the types of flows. Major differences exist throughout U.S. airports based on markets served, size of facilities, and type of airlines present. The team performed a thorough review of existing systems, practices, and procedures. Five different types of baggage recheck flows were documented for 30 U.S. airports, representing more than 97 percent of international arrivals.

OCR for page 8
Background 9 Identification and Review of Case Study Airports--The study team proposed nine potential case study airports based on a review of substantial differences across airport/airline markets. Criteria for review included traffic volumes, market dynamics, facility layout, and operational characteristics. Case study reviews were conducted from November 2009 to March 2010 to examine the dynamics on baggage recheck at San Francisco (SFO), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), and HartsfieldJackson Atlanta (ATL) international airports. A fourth site--Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)--was added and reviewed from September 2010 to March 2011. The objective of the task was to conduct a detailed study of the international connection process and to determine the feasibility of conducting alternative procedures at these air- ports. During the case study, the research team met with the appropriate air carriers, airport operators, and government agencies (e.g., CBP and TSA) in order to garner a greater level of detailed local understanding from each organization. Definition of Alternative Procedures--During the case studies, the study team defined poten- tial alternative procedures to eliminate or reduce the need for baggage recheck. The defini- tion process included a full evaluation of the types of technologies [e.g., biometrics, radio frequency identification (RFID), smartcards] or programs (e.g., Global Entry) that could be leveraged to reduce or eliminate baggage recheck. Meetings were held with CBP and TSA in December 2010 to review potential solutions. A peer review was conducted in January 2011 in Washington, D.C., with representatives from airports, airlines, and trade associations. Criteria Development and Testing--A set of criteria was put forward to assess the value of the alternative procedures for baggage recheck elimination. These criteria were formulated into three site-based tests involving several aspects of recheck elimination. The results were put into a simulation model to assess suitability for broader applications and associated findings for the research. To formulate the findings, analyses were undertaken with the above approaches, including interviews with selected technology vendors.