Airports recruit more dogs to help detect bombs

CCTV News

Airports recruit more dogs to help detect bombs

It’s always on the minds of airport, airline officials and passengers: the possibility that a bomb could go off on a plane or inside a terminal. It’s happened in Brussels and Istanbul recently. Now, many airports are going to the dogs in an attempt to sniff out the presence of explosives.

CCTV’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from the U.S. state of Colorado.

Airports recruit more dogs to help detect bombs

Airports recruit more dogs to help detect bombs

It’s always on the minds of airport, airline officials and passengers: the possibility that a bomb could go off on a plane or inside a terminal. It’s happened in Brussels and Istanbul recently. Now, many airports are going to the dogs in an attempt to sniff out the presence of explosives. CCTV’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports from the U.S. state of Colorado.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) routinely employs bomb-sniffing canines as a first layer of defense against potential terrorist attacks.

In 1972, a T.W.A. plane headed from New York to Los Angeles returned to New York when the airline was warned there was a time bomb on board. A trained German shepherd detected an explosive device on the aircraft, just 12 minutes before it was to detonate.

That incident eventually led to the widespread use of dogs to find explosives. Today, those animals and their handlers train for months to detect explosive odors.

Dogs’ finely developed sense of smell sets them apart from humans. They’re able to break apart an odor.

That ability has become more and more valuable as terrorists target airports like Istanbul and Brussels, places where large numbers of passengers gather.

At airports like Denver’s, dogs are deployed at random times and act as a deterrent. They’re typically sporting breeds with floppy ears that don’t intimidate travelers but are meant to provide an extra layer of security.

900 canine teams are now on patrol at U.S. airports. The TSA said passengers have benefited with shorter lines and safer travel. Fortunately, so far, the dog rewards have only come during drills.