K-9 units at major airports across the country have failed important certification tests that check how accurately they can detect explosives, raising concerns over whether those teams are training enough to stay sharp and their ability to protect against threats, an NBC 5 Investigation found.
The mission of explosive detection K-9 teams is to keep bombs out of airports and off planes by screening baggage, cargo and passengers for potential threats.
According to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act, K-9 teams failed tests at 10 U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International, Chicago's O'Hare and New York's JFK, 52 times between January 2013 and June 15, 2015.
"If a team does not meet TSA's rigorous guidelines, it is decertified and restricted from working," the TSA told NBC 5 Investigates in a statement.
NBC 5 Investigates asked for more comprehensive national figures from TSA but has not yet received them.