Aug 2, 2018
By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax
Bomb-sniffing dogs are now being used to keep travelers safe at Jacksonville International Airport.
The K-9s first started working at JIA Wednesday.
Koshetz said passengers who are cleared by the dogs while standing in line could be moved into an expedited lane.
That means you won’t have to take off your shoes, belt, or jacket and you can leave your laptop in your bag.
“Anything that can get us through, safely, quicker – I’m all for it,” said JIA traveler Fred Moore.
The dogs will also be sniffing passengers and airport employees at the gate.
“We also know that insiders can be a threat. So, although the passengers have gone through security, it’s a double-check to make sure that no one on the inside has posed a threat,” Koshetz said.
TSA K-9 handler Donald “Bubba” Deason said travelers don’t need to be frightened by his K-9, Boomer.
“Some people have a fear of dogs. And they look at the dog and then they get, ‘I don’t want to go near the dog. I don’t want to go past the dog.’ And basically, we tell them the dog’s not going to hurt you. It doesn’t attack. All it wants to do is sniff,” Deason said.
Moore said some travelers may have a hard time resisting the urge to pet the dogs.
“It depends on how late they’re running for their flight. But that’s going to be tempting, especially the kids,” Moore said.
The dogs wear harnesses warning people not to pet them.