December 11, 2018

TSA bomb detector runs on biscuits, not batteries

Agency moves ahead with plan to use sniffer dogs for aircargo screening.

By DC Velocity Staff

Cargo Screening K9 Alliance team

The international aircargo business relies on a complex web of logistics professionals, technologies, and software to ensure the safe flow of freight between global air hubs. But a recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adds another crucial link to that chain—one that comes with furry paws, a lolling tongue, and a wagging tail.

As part of its effort to detect explosives hidden in air freight, the DHS's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is moving forward with plans to use teams of sniffer dogs and their trained handlers. This fall, the agency released a list of organizations that have been approved to certify third-party explosives detection canine teams to determine whether they meet TSA's standards for screening air cargo, and authorized them to begin operations on Nov. 1.

Providers are already lining up to offer their services, and at least one has already completed a certification. Anniston, Ala.-based Cargo Screening K9 Alliance LLC (CSK9) announced on Nov. 5 that it had become the first commercial company to certify an explosive detection canine team under the TSA initiative. That team was composed of trainer Ashley Beard and her dog, Colt.

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