Skip to Content

Air Cargo Insecurity

Some illuminating numbers alarm us.
January 1, 2005

11.3 million metric tons of cargo passed through U.S. airports in 2003.
• Less than 10 percent of it was screened for explosives.
100 percent of air passengers and their baggage are screened for explosives.
• Virtually all passenger flights carry air cargo.
• American Airlines spent $70 million to provide more legroom in coach class.
• Boeing spent $1 billion to launch a satellite-powered, high-speed in-flight Internet service.
• The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will spend $4.8 billion this year on passenger and baggage screening.
• It will spend $115 million on air cargo security.
• Last year, two-thirds of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s transportation security R&D budget went to technology for countering attacks on commercial aircraft with shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles.
• The United States has 6.3 million kilometers of roads, more than 160,000 kilometers of rail, nearly 600,000 bridges, more than 300 ports, and approximately 500 railroad stations.

SOURCES: U.S. Transportation Security Administration, ABI Research, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, GAO, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and American Airlines

Keep Reading

Most Popular

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.