Going to the dogs: industry presses TSA to use K-9s for air-cargo screening
TSA said to be considering pilot test of bomb-sniffing dogs sometime this fall.
The air-freight industry is lobbying the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to allow companies to hire and train bomb-sniffing dogs to help screen cargo moving in the bellies of passenger planes, according to a well-placed industry source.
The source said TSA is "very receptive" to the idea and has said it would like to beta-test the dogs sometime this fall. The focus, according to the source, is to build a certification program within TSA that will allow private industry to certify K-9s to conduct so-called primary screening of cargo.
Currently, private K-9s are used as secondary screening vehicles and are deployed, if necessary, once the cargo has undergone an initial inspection via TSA-approved equipment such as an Explosives Trace Detection (ETD) machine.
Effective Aug. 1, all cargo scheduled to be flown in the bellies of passenger aircraft from U.S. airports must be screened or physically inspected prior to boarding.
The use of private K-9s had been high on the agenda of the late Ed Kelly, who had run TSA's cargo division until his death in December 2009. Under Kelly, there were plans to test K-9s as primary screening tools. However, the initiative was tabled following his death, the source said.
Of the 700 TSA-approved canine teams nationwide, 120 are dedicated solely to cargo screening, according to agency figures. The dedicated cargo dogs are deployed at the 20 busiest cargo airports in the United States, according to the agency.
James Fotenos, a TSA spokesman, did not respond to an e-mail asking if there had been discussions either within TSA or with industry to let companies use K-9s on their private "payroll" as screening tools.More articles by Mark B. Solomon
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.
- Stakes raised in driver classification debate as New York state law takes effect
- Amazon plans revamp of U.S. shipping with mix of private fleet, regional carriers, USPS
- Hang together or hang separately?
- Michigan-based firm buys "Cold Train" perishables intermodal service
- Africa: Land of odd express deliveries
Feedback: What did you think of this article? We'd like to hear from you. DC VELOCITY is committed to accuracy and clarity in the delivery of important and useful logistics and supply chain news and information. If you find anything in DC VELOCITY you feel is inaccurate or warrants further explanation, please ?Subject=Feedback - : Going to the dogs: industry presses TSA to use K-9s for air-cargo screening">contact Editorial Director Peter Bradley. All comments are eligible for publication in the letters section of DC VELOCITY magazine. Please include you name and the name of the company or organization your work for.