The effectiveness of canine screening for aviation security is gaining new attention in the United States. TIACA has long advocated for greater use of canines in air cargo screening, as they are the only currently available screening option well suited to the heavy volumes and rapid pace of air cargo operations, and for large, non-traditional configurations. We are working with industry colleagues and our sister associations to seek TSA support for expanding the use of canines (for example, by allowing for third party training and operations) and to obtain larger funding allocations for canine screening. We believe that increased canine screening, similar to what is in place in other countries, is especially important given a recent ICAO decision that clarifies Annex 17 requirements for supply chain security for all-cargo flights. This clarification could result in some modified national security screening requirements for all-cargo flights, and deploying canine teams could help ensure compliance and effectiveness without constraining the flow of cargo, which would be challenging with current technologies available.
The Washington Post recently published a Sunday magazine cover story entitled, “The Scent of Danger: Man’s best friend may be our best bet for preventing attacks.” The lengthy piece extolled the effectiveness of dogs as screeners, and mentioned TSA’s plans to deploy additional teams for a variety of tasks. While the article focused on the passenger environment, it referenced TSA’s use of canines to screen cargo and detailed the canine/handler training process. To read the full article, [click here].
TIACA will continue its advocacy on this issue and will report significant developments to our members.