Hawaii Film Blog

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Transporting Film From HNL Airport

Here's an official message from the Hawaii Film Office regarding transporting film from Honolulu International Airport:

As many of you know, two Hawaii productions recently had film accidentally x-rayed in advance of a domestic air carrier departing from Honolulu International Airport . The x-rayed film was a total loss. This created a very costly and time-consuming situation for both productions.

It appears that the mistake had to do with a new Transportation Security Administration cargo security directive that requires that all small packages (counter-to-counter cargo) traveling on passenger planes be screened by air carriers in accordance with the TSA cargo security directives, or by TSA agents via Explosive Detection System (EDS or x-ray) or Explosive Trace Detection (ETD). ETD is the process whereby TSA agents swipe items with cotton pads and then run those pads through a machine that detects explosive residue.

The recent problems occurred when film was left by airline personnel at the EDS x-ray machines along with other non-film counter-to-counter cargo . The film apparently was then thrown in and co-mingled with piles of passenger luggage without regard for the warning labels indicating not to x-ray the sensitive contents within.

The good news is that with the help of TSA and United Airlines, a new process has been put into place that will prevent this from happening in the future. The new procedure will require all cargo personnel sending shipments containing sensitive film via passenger planes to either screen the film in accordance with TSA cargo security directives (shipper identification procedures) or hand-deliver the film directly to an ETD station to go through a screening by hand rather than through an EDS x-ray machine. If the ETD station is unattended, personnel will be asked to carry the film over to a TSA agent at an EDS x-ray machine and notify the agent that the package contains sensitive film and requires an ETD screening. At no time prior to the screening will the film be left unattended.

Any production transporting film counter-to-counter or through a known shipper for transport on a passenger plane will be asked to fill out specific documents at the airline or cargo counter to ship the film.

You should expect this process to be in place immediately. Please contact the Hawaii Film Office at (808) 586-2570 or an air cargo representative with any questions or concerns.

UPDATE, 2/9/07: 'Lost' loses footage in airport blunder [Hnl Advertiser] (wherein this blog is referred to as "an informational Web site run by the film office")

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