Liege Airport is working on a training center for dogs specialized in explosive detection.
The airport is launching the project with its subsidiary Liege Airport Security and the company Securitas.
The kennels are situated right next to the airport, allowing quick response at any time of day or night.
The airport and Liege Airport Security also plan to set up a specialized cargo control team of dog-handler security officers, giving 24-hour availability onsite.
“This organization, combined with the proximity of the new kennels, will certainly be another point in favor of our operators, since it will offer the following advantages: a very high level of control effectiveness by the dogs, availability 24 hours a day, very brief operating times, reduction of costs for all concerned, knowledge of the site and the specific needs of Liege Airport users, centralized management in the case of detection, etc.,” Luc Partoune, managing director of Liege Airport, said.
Dogs are more flexible in detecting explosives placed in air cargo than what airports previously used: X-ray machines. With an X-ray, each pallet of freight had to go through the scanner, so everything had to be carried to and from the machine.
A dog will go to the freight, making detection more rapid.
Explosive-detecting dogs were first used at Schiphol Airport in 2005.
Liege Airport is also applying to Belgian authorities for a license to develop a second control method using dogs. This second method entails taking air samples in large bulk and having them analyzed by specially trained dogs, which is already used in several European airports such as Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Schiphol.