Explosives detection dogs from police forces across the country are taking part in a major training exercise at Bristol Airport this week.
More than 40 dogs will be put through their paces by their handlers throughout the terminal building and airfield, testing their ability to detect substances that could potentially harm members of the public.
The exercise, which was coordinated by our chief dog instructor, Sergeant Denis McCoy, supports the cross-government CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy – a major part of which is keeping air passengers safe and ensuring that the UK continues to lead efforts to raise global aviation safety standards.
Sgt McCoy said: “Dogs are known for their incredible sense of smell and their ability to sniff out harmful substances is what makes them one of the best assets in the fight against terrorism.
“A key factor in producing and maintaining the very best explosives search dogs is training.
“Locations like Bristol Airport are busy environments. Continual opportunities to train in this type of location makes for an even more robust and effective dog and handler team.”
Temporary Chief Inspector Shane Hawkings said: “Bringing together a multi-agency training event like this requires a lot of work.
“I’d like to thank Bristol Airport and our other partners for making this happen.
“The safety of the communities we serve both locally and nationally are at the heart of what we do and this event will certainly enhance that.”
Security Minister, Ben Wallace, said: “Training exercises such as this are vital for us to ensure that the UK’s travelling public continue to remain amongst the safest in the world.
“These dogs save lives and I am grateful for the role that Bristol Airport is playing in this process.”
Chris Morgan, Head of Security, Bristol Airport said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Avon and Somerset Police in relation to this exercise.
“This training will give the dogs and their handlers an invaluable insight into the workings of an airport and will ensure they are as ready as they can be to operate here – detecting and preventing crime and keeping our passengers safe.”