TSA Unleashing Passenger-Sniffing Agents to Speed Long Airport Lines

Craig Bannister | May 24, 2016

To speed up the long lines at security checkpoints at U.S. airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is deploying additional teams of passenger-sniffing canines.

The move will allow more people to get through the lines faster, the TSA announced on Monday, mere hours before its head of security was fired amid customer complaints of unbearably long lines and waits at airport security:

“We’re deploying additional K-9 teams to airports, which means a faster screening process for more people.”

The TSA current deploys more than 900 canine teams in over 100 airports, mass-transit and maritime systems in the U.S., educated at a $12 million, 25,000 square foot Canine Training Center in San Antonio, Texas, that features:

  • Seven classrooms,
  • A 100-seat auditorium, and
  • 13 indoor venues designed to mimic a variety of transportation sites and modes (mock airport gate, baggage claim, etc.).

The canine boot camp boasts an 83% graduation rate and accepts seven types of applicants:

  1. German Shepherds,
  2. Labrador Retrievers,
  3. German Short-Haired Pointers,
  4. Wirehaired Pointers,
  5. Vizslas,
  6. Belgian Malinois, and
  7. Golden Retrievers

In 2015, canine agents logged more than 200,000 hours screening for explosives in the nation’s transportation facilities.