Anchorage airport welcomes bomb-sniffing dog
Jjackman is a 5-year-old yellow lab who has undergone specialized training to help sniff out explosives.
Transportation Security Administration director for Alaska Brian Cahill said Jjackman’s job is to check out passengers with his nose as they enter the security line. Once they are cleared, he said, they can go through an expedited check-in process that can keep the lines moving fast.
Despite new efforts to deal with long lines in a record-setting year for travelers, Cahill said TSA agents aren’t hurrying through the screening process. If anything, he said, they are slowing down to deal with the rising threat of terrorism.
“Bad guys are getting bombs on airplanes,” Cahill said. “Thank goodness it’s not in the United States of America, but we truly believe that those are test runs for something that the bad guys would like to do here in the United States of America. And we, the TSA, are taking that very, very seriously.”
Cahill said passengers can help to keep things moving by putting as much as they are able in their checked luggage. He also reminded that it’s important to get to the airport as much as two hours early, especially during peak times.
The Anchorage airport is busiest from mid-July to mid-August when it could see as many as 13,000 passengers a day. Cahill said the busiest time of day at the airport is at night from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., when wait times could be considerably longer.
This story has been updated with the correct spelling of the dog’s name, Jjackman. The dog was named after someone who died in the World Trade Center attacks, according to the wife of the original handler.