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Company News

18 May 2006

Five Years Of Aeroflot’s Sniffer Dogs Service

Aeroflot – Russian Airlines, JSC celebrates the five-year anniversary of its dog breeding and training department at the aviation security service, established in 2001 to enhance passenger security and counter terrorism.

Aeroflot’s dog detectives check out around 500 company’s flights, and over 4,200 buildings and facilities in technical and public premises of the Sheremetyevo airport, and operate over 30 urgency field examinations for explosives onboard on on-land every year.

The sniff dog’s efficiency is over 95%, and apart from the unique sense of smell the dogs serve as a psychological weapon, discouraging terrorist bombers.

The Aeroflot’s sniffer dogs service currently employs 40 hounds, with 20 patrolling various airports premises and checking out flights, and the other 20 honing their skills in training. Four-shift 24h patrolling duty is performed by 16 detectives and their dogs.

Aeroflot uses a unique dog breed: it is a crossing between the Arctic reindeer herding dog (laika) and the subtropical jackal, which has been a result of almost 30-year efforts of Klim Sulimov, Aeroflot’s chief dog breeder.

The sniffer dogs are an additional security measure, used along with metal-detectors, introscopes, and all other security devices installed in the airport. However, where technology may fail – the dog’s nose is always up to the task, as the specially trained hound is more mobile and can squeeze in places normally hard to reach. The specialists believe that detecting explosives, in particular plastic explosives, remains an issue: that is why bio-detectors, that is sniffer dogs, are an essential weapon to ward off the danger.

Ten specially targeted compulsory programmes have been launched by Aeroflot to enhance the aviation security level. One of them is total examination of luggage on all Aeroflot’s services, escorting of potentially exposed flights, integrated security system for the company’s facilities (ISS), protection of the company’s revenues (prevention of illegal migration, control of cargo transit and passenger documents), dealing with onboard offenders, quality management system SAB, etc.

Basing on the IATA guidelines, the SAB experts have developed and verified a new set of documents regulating the cooperation between Aeroflot and the airport department of internal affairs in the Sheremetyevo airport in prosecuting onboard offenders: the company’s security service has refined its programme for onboard crime and nuisance prevention.

Ensuring aviation security remains a priority of the company strategy, and requires a lot of effort, says Aeroflot’s chief Valeriy Okulov, therefore the airlines’ aviation security service has been audited by the quality management system and awarded the ISO 9001-2000 certificate as it fully complies with the internationally accepted standards.

Founded in 1923 and based in the Sheremetyevo airport (Moscow, Russia), Aeroflot – Russian Airlines, JSC is Russia’s largest longhaul and domestic carrier, operating 39% of international, and 11% of domestic services. Aeroflot is member of Sky Team, a global alliance of air carriers, voted by readers of the Global Traveler Magazine “The Best Airline Alliance”. In 2005 the company carried 6.8 million passengers to 89 destinations in 47 countries. With 83 aircrafts in its fleet, Aeroflot operates 302 services daily. For more information about Aeroflot visit www.aeroflot.ru and www.skyteam.com.