Aussie’s top dogs to begin explosive detection work at NZ airports

19 Oct 2016

The Aviation Security Service (‘Avsec’) is proud to officially welcome three new dogs into its explosive detector dog (EDD) unit, working to protect our nation’s airports and skies.

The dogs last week graduated as fully trained explosive detector dogs in a ceremony at the NZ Police Dog Training Centre in Upper Hutt, taking Avsec up to a total of 28 operational dogs.

Two of the new graduates were sourced from Australia—a move taken by Avsec to ensure it has the best dogs for the job.

“We require dogs that are highly driven, active, confident and playful dogs,” says Avsec EDD National Manager Monique Masoe.

“We have struggled to find suitable dogs in the last year, and have contacted the Australian Border Force Breeding Centre to source potential candidates. We’ve got some fantastic ‘Kiwi’ dogs working for us but it makes sense to also look further afield given the important job they do.”

Avsec is the branch of the Civil Aviation Authority responsible for providing security services at New Zealand’s five security-designated airports, and has a prestigious EDD training programme which was officially recognised by the United States’ Transportation Security Administration in 2014—a world-first acknowledgement.

The ten-week programme consists of an Allocation Course where the teams are assessed for suitability, and a nine-week Explosive Detector Dog Course. The course is delivered and supervised by an experienced instructor who trains teams (consisting of one Avsec handler and one dog per team) to search and find explosives in different environments. At the end of the course the teams are tested and certified by the New Zealand Police. A passing grade means the teams graduate as ‘operational’.

Monique says that Avsec has strong relationships with breeders and other animal agencies because of their common interest in securing positive outcomes for both the dogs and the communities that they live in.

“As an EDD, the dogs enjoy a great life and do an important job—not just for Avsec, but for the travelling public and airport community,” she says.

EDD tilly takes a break