The Atlanta Airport is Now using Dogs to Speed Up Passenger Lines


Security lines and checkpoints are growing in the Atlanta Airport. The officials there think that they can go to their other screeners, dogs named Miley, Jo, and Dougie. Miguel Southwell manages the airport and he suggests that the dogs will be able to speed up and hold down rising wait times.  So far there are only five units or canine units, but Southwell plans on finding and using more.


The trained dogs patrol through the security lines smelling for explosives or potential bomb making ingredients on passengers and their carry-on bags. The dogs give the Transportation Security Administration a faster way to screen.  The passengers that are screened might not have to take off their jackets, shoes, and keep their laptops in their bags. The dogs are helping to speed up the lines.


The TSA supervisor Anthony Jones reported that the dogs bring a “degree of comfort and  security to the passengers”.


Long lines have presented a problem over the last year. Waiting times at the world’s busiest airports have reached as long as 52 minutes during peak travel periods. Southwell recently said he was considering the drastic step of hiring additional security workers if the TSA cannot cut waiting times. The TSA’s force of screeners is smaller now than it was five years ago and has struggled to get through the crowds. Southwell has talked with the TSA and they have decided to hire more security, use more canine units, and add more new technology to get through the line faster.


On very busy traveling days the TSA take on about 88,000 passengers a day. The TSA uses five dogs. They use Miley, a chocolate Labrador retriever, Jo, a German shorthaired pointer, Dougie, a yellow Lab, and Balou and Betty, who are both black Labs. The TSA stays away from German shepherds who might arouse more fear than other dogs such as labradors.


The dogs work for half-hour or an hour at a time at the checkpoints. An officer reported, “It’s hard work and you can tell when they grow tired.” Many people walk through the airport and the dogs are trained to catch every one. They grow tired sniffing for smells surrounding them. You can tell when the dog grows tired because it’s head droops and it’s tail stops wagging.


These dogs work very hard to get through all the passengers they have to sniff. They are a big help at the airports and help get you to places around the world.