THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The international airport here would get a dog squad for security checks soon. The much-awaited arrival of the squad would be a shot in the arm for the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is in charge of the airport security.
Sources said the squad would be inducted in April second week. The canines are now undergoing training at the National Training Centre for Dogs and Animals (NTCDA) under the Indo-Tibetan Border Police at Bhanu, near Chandigarh.
Around 10 dog handlers, selected from among the CISF personnel here, are also being trained by the ITBP.
Though the sanctioned strength of the squad is six, only four canines will reach the airport initially. The rest would be inducted in the subsequent months.
The dog squad is part of the Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) plan to form Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads in all airports.
Though the squad was supposed to be inducted some months ago, it didn’t materialise as the training got delayed during the winter season.
“The sniffer dogs would be a boost to airport security,” AAI officials said.
“At present, we are relying on the dog squad of the state police in case of an emergency. “A squad of our own would save a lot of crucial time,” they said.
Besides anti-sabotage checks, the squad would also be used for patrolling on the airport premises at least twice a day. The CISF would formulate a standard operating procedure for the functioning of the squad after its arrival.
The works of the kennel block, being set up at the CISF barracks near the airport, are in the final stage. The AAI had allotted Rs 70 lakh for the kennel works.