Report to Congress: Aviation Security Aircraft Hardening Program   [open pdf - 92KB]

The feasibility of blast-resistant baggage has been demonstrated under the prototype effort and subsequent FAA solicitation resulting in the successful testing and certification of a unit developed by private industry. This unit is capable of mitigating an explosive threat in excess of the current explosives detection system certification criteria. The development of hardened container design criteria has been completed, resultinig in a draft specification for LD-3-type hardened baggage containers. This draft specification provides a vehicle by which the FAA could mandate the use of hardened containers if the are proven to be operationally viable and ensure that these containers wil meet or exceed required blast resistance and airworthiness requirements. Protype containers will continue to be developed and tested in order to refine existing design requirements and address airline operational isssues. Analysis of the operational considerations is being initiated. This includes assessing those factors with which the airlines are most concerned; i.e., container cost, tare weight, repair, operability, and maintainability. This analysis will ensure that specifications for a hardened container can meet a reasonable life-cycle cost. Further work with industry will help ensure that the existing specification is appropriate.

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