SAT introduces new Passenger Screening Canine program

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The San Antonio International Airport and the Transportation Security Administration unveiled a new passenger screening program.

A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between SAT, the TSA and the TSA Canine Training Program on Monday.

“The magnitude of this agreement will positively impact the airport, travelers and the community as well,” said Jesus H. Saenz, Jr., IAP, Director of Airports, San Antonio Airport System. “The Passenger Screening Canines add an enhanced level of security to our operation.”

The new Passenger Screening Canine program will bring dogs from a local TSA canine training facility that have undergone a 12 to 16-week training program to hone the ability to recognize explosives, the handler’s ability to interpret the canine’s change in behavior, the handler’s ability to conduct logical and systematic searches and the team’s ability to locate the explosives odor and its source, according to the San Antonio Aviation Department.

The TSA’s Canine Training is a $12 million facility housed at JBSA-Lackland trains canines and their handlers to detect explosive materials on passengers and within their luggage.

Officials said the TSA uses a variety of breeds in explosive detection training and must pass strict pre-acceptance standards to ensure that the dogs have the health, temperament, and critical characteristics essential to being able to handle explosive detection work.

“The TSA canine program is a great example of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies working together to protect the traveling public,” said Jesus Presas, TSA Federal Security Director for SAT. “The signing of this important agreement would not have happened without the work and dedication of many people. I am proud to welcome Passenger Screening Canine teams to San Antonio, and I stand with our partners, and look forward to continued cooperation with our airport teams and the traveling public to make every passenger’s experience a safe and positive one.”

SAT will have four passenger screening canine teams on duty starting as early as the Fall.

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