HONOLULU – Officials with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) highlighted its Passenger Screening Canines (PSCs), a key asset used to enhance security and keep passengers safe and secure when departing Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Sep. 19.
PSCs are trained to detect explosives and explosive materials in a busy transportation environment. They work with a handler searching travelers and their belongings in the security checkpoint and assist with the efficiency and effectiveness of TSA’s screening operations.
“PSCs and their handlers are valuable members of our local TSA security team,” said Jenel Cline, TSA federal security director for Hawaii. “TSA’s use of these specially-trained canines is an important additional layer of security at HNL.”
“Safety is our top priority and we are continuously in communication with our federal partners to ensure the traveling public is protected,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay. “We are grateful to have the TSA canines at HNL as one of the safety features in our airport security plan.”
Passengers departing HNL can at any time expect to see PSC teams working in the security checkpoint. The teams are able to navigate among large groups of people to pinpoint the source of an explosive odor, even if the source is mobile and often without the source being aware it is being tracked. A PSC handler is trained to read its dog’s change of behavior when it indicates an explosive scent has been detected.
If a dog alerts its handler to the presence of explosive odor, TSA follows an established procedure to resolve the alarm. The use of these highly-trained canines is an effective tool in deterring and detecting the introduction of explosive devices into the nation’s transportation systems.
Because explosives are known to be the greatest threat to the aviation system, PSCs are regularly tested to ensure they maintain a high standard of operational effectiveness. This continual training allows for all team to be a reliable resource in detecting an explosive threat, maintaining proper acclimation within the airport and mitigating potential distraction in a busy transportation environment.
Currently, TSA has more than 320 PSC teams who work primarily at airports across the country. These teams are also trained to work in non-aviation transportation venues. While PSCs are sociable, they are working dog and they should not be petted or fed by anyone except their handlers.