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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Issues Related to Accommodating Animals Traveling Through Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22120.
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ISSUES RELATED TO ACCOMMODATING ANIMALS TRAVELING THROUGH AIRPORTS Animals of many species travel through airports either in the company of passengers or as cargo, and the number is increasing. The roles and responsibilities of airports regarding animals are very limited; the primary responsibility belongs with the owners of the animals and the airlines or cargo carriers. The overall system for the air transportation of pets and other animals works very well; however, when something goes wrong, the airport may have to resolve the problem. The primary legal responsibilities of airports vis-à-vis animals are to comply with the ADA and the Air Carrier Access Act. This involves providing service animal relief areas and ensuring that all facili- ties at the airport are accessible to persons with disabilities and the service dogs that accompany them. Fifty-two (52) interviewees provided the primary data for this report. Twenty-four (24) airports were surveyed regarding their experiences and policies concerning animals passing through them. In addition, 30 organizations and individuals were interviewed, including airlines, animal handling and forwarding companies, service dog companies, industry associations, and government agencies; as well as two experts in animal health and behavior. Effective practices and lessons learned were identified through a literature review. Two tools for use by airports are provided: • A table of unacceptable behaviors by service dogs that can be used by an airport to ask for the animal’s removal under the ADA (Appendix A) • A user-friendly checklist of effective practices (Appendix B). In addition, four case studies of actual airport animal operations illustrate the complex dynamics of the processes and interactions. Together, the checklist and case studies can help guide airport managers as they shape their own individual plans and procedures for accommodating animals passing through their airport. The Heathrow International Airport case example and the proposed new animal terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport may suggest commercial opportunities for airports. SUMMARY

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 64: Issues Related to Accommodating Animals Traveling Through Airports explores ways for airports to develop a coordinated approach in animal transportation to better accommodate the well-being of animals traveling through airports. The report identifies pertinent regulations; explores issues and ranges of accommodation requirements and strategies to respond to issues; and illustrates effective airport practices to help accommodate animals traveling through airports.


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