It is the first dog squad procured by the AAI since the establishment of the airport in 1957

In a bid to strengthen security mechanism at Madurai airport, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has inducted a sniffer dog squad in Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

According to airport sources, the AAI procured four Labradors in September last. The sniffer dogs and six CISF dog handlers underwent a six-month training course at National Training Centre for Dogs, BSF, Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, and were inducted for airport security last month.

The dog squad was inducted in view of the increasing threat perception at airports across the country over the past few years. The four sniffer dogs were capable of detecting explosive substances such as RDX, and narcotics, said an airport official.

They would be used by the dog handlers at the airport to regularly check passenger baggage. The dogs would be accommodated at a kennel close to the airport, the official added.

Sources said a proposal to establish a Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad was also in the pipeline. Once established, the squad would be stationed at the airport to respond swiftly to emergency situations. Barring the outer area where the security was taken care of by the State police, the CISF provided comprehensive security, covering all the areas of the airport, including terminal building.

It is the first dog squad procured by the AAI since the establishment of the airport in 1957. Earlier, sniffer dogs from the State police department were pressed into service. The airport has witnessed a steady increase in air travellers over the years with international flights connecting Madurai with destinations such as Colombo and Dubai.

When contacted, Airport Director K. Sangiah Pandian told The Hindu: “The dog squad will be pressed into service during peak hours and during emergency situations to help prevent smuggling of drugs and explosive substances.”

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