82.4 F
Washington D.C.
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Guide Dogs Explore TSA Checkpoint at Reagan Airport to Get Oriented to Security Checkpoints

Approximately two dozen service dogs got some practice going through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on National Puppy Day (Sat, 23 Mar 2024) so that they would be more familiar with the experience of traversing through an airport when they need to catch a flight.

TSA officials screened 24 puppies and their trainers from the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind to assist individuals with visual impairments and America’s VetDogs® who are trained for those with physical disabilities; individuals who are blind or have low vision; and to help veterans mitigate the effects of PTSD.

TSA officers worked with the pups as they came through the checkpoint in an effort to acclimate the future guide dogs with an important piece of the airport experience—the security checkpoint.

The familiarization opportunity will result in a smoother experience when the puppies graduate into certified guide dogs and return to take a flight, according to officials from Guide Dog Foundation. The familiarization exercise enables the canines and their trainers to know what to expect when the dogs and the people they are trained to guide, return with plans to take a flight.

The orientation session also served as a good review and reinforcement of TSA procedures for screening service animals for the TSA officers who were working at the checkpoint during the familiarization exercise.

“The orientation session was a hit with the dog trainers, the TSA officers and of course with the dogs. There was plenty of tail wagging,” said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “The collaborative effort benefitted the guide dogs, the airport and TSA and will go a long way to ensuring that the dogs and their eventual owners will have a smooth checkpoint experience in the future.”

The dogs also had the opportunity to sniff around the airline check-in counters, baggage carousels and TSA arranged for the puppies and their trainers to board an aircraft.

Similar TSA checkpoint orientations have taken place for service dogs at other airports including Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Greater Binghamton Airport, Elmira Corning Regional Airport, Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Westchester County Airport, Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport and Long Island MacArthur Airport, among others.

author avatar
Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles