(Oct. 7) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Increased regulation and increased use of technology.

Those were the main recommendations from the Aviation Security Advisory Committee in its report to the Transportation Security Administration regarding improving air cargo security.

Stephen McHale, deputy administrator for the TSA, said in a news release that the advisory committee consisted of a cross section of people from all levels of the aviation industry.

“We listened to everyone: security experts, cargo experts, pilots, unions and victims of past attacks,” he said. “Our challenge moving forward is to build on the improvements we have already made and implement the best possible cargo security program to protect the American people.”

Among the recommendations was to strengthen the Known Shipper Program.

The Known Shipper Program was developed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and required the creation of a database of shippers that have made a certain number of shipments within a two year timeframe on a particular carrier, and are verified by that carrier. Since Sept. 11, only known shippers have been allowed to ship on passenger aircraft.

The advisory committee wants to strengthen that program by improving the technology links between air carriers and the federal government.

This, the committee said, will allow the government to ensure that known shippers are vetted against all relevant government watch lists.

In addition, the committee recommended expanding the known shipper database by using the latest advancements in link analysis as well as using commercial databases.

The committee also recommended enhancing regulations for indirect carriers —companies responsible for shipping that use the services of a direct air carrier rather than having services of their own.

The committee wants to raise the security level, requiring pre-employment screenings for anyone who would have access to freight. This includes setting minimum federal standards for employee background checks.

And finally, the committee recommended raising security levels for all-cargo, non-passenger aircraft including perimeter and personnel security at all-cargo facilities.

The committee wants to improve communication between TSA and aircraft operators to better increase compliance with new regulations and allow for quicker responses to emergency situations.