The UK Government has deployed free running explosive detection dogs (FREDDs) at airports across the country to detect explosives concealed in air freight.
Aimed at strengthening the UK’s aviation security, the FREDDs and their human handlers will be checking cargo for various types of explosive materials.
The dogs are being used along with existing screening methods to offer a quick and effective way of verifying large volumes of air cargo.
UK Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: “Free running explosive detection dogs are the latest addition to the government’s multi-layered approach to tackling potential aviation security threats.
“The ability of these highly skilled dogs to detect small amounts of vapour from explosives hidden in cargo will bolster our existing rigorous security methods, and I was really impressed to see them in action.
“The UK’s aviation security standards are already among the best in the world and we will continue to seek out new and innovative ways to ensure that passengers remain protected.”
Prior to their deployment, each dog has undergone a rigorous training programme prescribed by the government to prepare them for cargo screening.
Capable of detecting minute traces of vapour from concealed explosives, the trained dogs provide a high level of scrutiny besides a mobile and time-saving method of screening freight.
The deployment of FREDDs is part of the UK Government’s ‘aviation strategy next steps’ document published in April that gives the blueprint for the future of the industry.
Goods valued at £178bn were transported by air between the UK and non-EU countries in 2016. With these detection dogs, the government wants to ensure that such cargo is safe to fly.