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Issues Related to Accommodating Animals Traveling Through Airports (2015)

Chapter: Chapter One - Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." 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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Page 5
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction ." 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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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

3 More animals, especially pets and particularly dogs, travel with passengers than ever before. This trend is encouraged by changing demographics and by business practices of the travel industry (Kadet 2012). Some animals, such as pets, service animals, and emotional support animals, are highly visible to the traveling public in airport terminals and parking areas. In addition to traveling in cabins with passengers, companion animals travel as excess baggage or in cargo. Other species such as farm animals, research animals, zoo animals, circus animals, non-human primates, wildlife, and marine animals only travel as cargo and are far less visible to the public. The public views the various types of companion animals differently than the more specific definitions used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), defined later in this chapter, because of its familiarity and emotional bond with companion animals. This in turn drives the public’s level of expectations, and consequently, the methods by which their valued companion animals are transported by air. Air transport of animals is attractive for many reasons: • The capability of people to travel with their animals; • The speed of travel and low risk, which reduces the health and safety impacts on the animals; • The level of security for high value animals, whether the value is economic or emotional (as in the case of pet); • Federal laws and regulations that ensure the legal right and ability of passengers with disabilities to travel with service animals; and • Convenience and availability. Commercial passenger and air cargo reach to within 50 miles of nearly every community in the United States. As seen in this report, animal cargo is shipped in passenger planes, in special containers in regular cargo aircraft, in specially equipped sections of regular cargo aircraft, and in specialized animal trans- port aircraft such as those designed for race horses, cattle, other farm animals, wildlife, and marine animals. In all cases, the cargo transport of animals by air represents a complex, highly choreographed intermodal transportation system. The health and safety demands of live animals dictate this, just as the same issues, plus customer satisfaction, set the parameters for animals traveling with passengers. Animal welfare and safety are highly regulated in the United States. Regulations that apply to the air transportation of animals both domestically and internationally are tailored to the needs of the individual species, though the air transport of some species and types of animal commerce is not regulated. Chapter two of this report summarizes the legal and regulatory context of animal air trans- port. In addition, airlines have detailed policies and restrictions that go beyond laws and regulations. The public appears to perceive that there have been an increasing number of animal incidents and emergencies at airports. The data on such incidents is presented and analyzed by specific issue in chapter three of this report, and the validity of public perception is evaluated. PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY Airports, airlines, cargo companies, and their partners have developed new and improved types of accommodation at various airports and facilities in the United States. This study seeks to discover those means of accommodation; to describe issues experienced at airports and to identify solutions; to evaluate their effectiveness; to identify gaps; and disseminate the information to airports of all types and sizes as well as to other interested parties. The goal is to describe a coordinated approach for chapter one INTRODUCTION

4 airports and their partners in animal transportation to ensure the well-being of animals traveling through airports by using effective practices that are well documented and presented in actionable form. The specific objectives of this synthesis are to identify pertinent regulations; describe the issues and ranges of accommodation requirements and strategies to respond to issues; and describe through case examples some practices found effective in accommodating animals traveling through airports. Although air transportation of animals extends far beyond the physical confines of airports, this study is limited to accommodations made at or near airports, including facilities, procedures, policies, employee training, signage, and other communications with the public. The audience for this report is airport operators, airlines, contractors, and specialized animal ship- pers who are responsible for accommodating traveling animals, and those who respond to animal incidents and emergencies. Indirectly, the audience for this report will be the members of the public who ship animals or travel with animals, including service animals. SCOPE OF THIS STUDY This study includes a review and description of current literature and experience concerning the needs and accommodations of animals traveling through airports. Case examples were developed from a variety of sources, including regulatory and service agencies, pet shipping companies, airlines, and airports. Six key issues were specified as the focus of the study: • Types and numbers of animals traveling through airports; • Growth expectations on numbers and types of animals traveling through airports; • Recommended animal travel accommodations based upon literature from scientific and stake- holder organizations; • Accommodation strategies, both facilities-based and management approaches, including initial costs, funding and upkeep (e.g., relief, resting, holding, quarantine, welfare, on-call veterinary emergency aid); • Issues and gaps; and • Special circumstances and lessons learned. CATEGORIES OF ANIMALS TRAVELING THROUGH AIRPORTS The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) of 1976 (P.L. 94-279.54 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), which is the primary legal basis for how animals are treated, divides animals into four main categories: 1. Companion animals, including service animals, emotional support animals, and pets; 2. Farm animals or livestock; 3. Marine life; and 4. Wildlife. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA uses a slightly different classification system that expands on the four categories in the AWA (USDA-APHS 2014a): 1. Companion animals; 2. Farm animals; 3. Research animals; 4. Zoo animals; 5. Circus animals; 6. Non-human primates; 7. Wildlife; and 8. Marine animals. This study uses the four AWA categories except where one of the APHIS categories is more pertinent.

5 Companion Animals Companion animals include pets and service and working animals (USDA 2014a). Pets include dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, and non-traditional pets. Dogs are the pets that most often travel through airports, either accompanying passengers or with meeters and greeters. Service and working animals include assistance animals (service animals and emotional support animals) and such specialized animals as K-9 dogs working with law enforcement and military agen- cies. Service animals are defined in various federal statutes and regulations addressed in detail in chapters three and four. Emotional support animals are also addressed in chapters three and four; in addition, they are addressed in the Heathrow case example in chapter two. For purposes of this intro- duction, it suffices to say that assistance dogs on leashes have full access to all public parts of airports and airlines. Changing demographics and accommodations for disabled persons mean that increasing numbers of service dogs move through and into every public space in an airport such as restrooms, escalators, elevators, and restaurants. Despite impacting airports, service dogs are not handled by airport and airline staff. The requirements for service animal relief areas (SARAs) will also affect airports in terms of personnel required to clean the relief areas, capital to build relief areas, and having to meet building codes. Farm Animals Farm animals include cattle, horses, poultry, sheep and goats, and swine (USDA 2014a). All of these species are sometimes shipped as air cargo, especially to international destinations. Farm animals are addressed in detail in the Miami and Heathrow case examples in chapter two. Marine Life The AWA category of marine life falls under the APHIS category of zoo, circus, and marine animals. Within that APHIS category, marine life falls under exhibit animal species and is addressed in three groups: fish, invertebrates, and marine mammals (USDA 2014a). Fish include sharks and rays. The specialized aspects of the air transport of marine organisms are examined in the Miami case example in chapter two. Wildlife The wildlife category includes any other species that is not a companion animal, farm animal, or marine animal. Research animals and many exhibit animals fall in this AWA category. Wildlife animals are relatively rare in air cargo in most U.S. airports; however, they frequently pass through Heathrow and are addressed in the Heathrow case example in chapter two. NUMBERS OF ANIMALS TRAVELING THROUGH AIRPORTS Determining the numbers of animals traveling through airports turned out to be far more difficult than anticipated. There is no central database containing the numbers of animals traveling either domesti- cally or internationally. Data on the number of health certificates would require a Freedom of Informa- tion Act (FOIA) request to APHIS. Because airlines who count the number of animals traveling did not participate in this study, the lack of reliable data does not facilitate a reasonable estimate. One key animal transportation association that has such data also declined to participate. With the exception of one report in January 2012, for one airline, there is insufficient data even to compute or estimate the rate of incidents injuring animals during air transport. The specialty animal transportation companies did provide data on their monthly shipments, which helped set a lower limit estimate of the national totals. Federal agencies may keep data on species, and do have data on all imports since they must be cleared by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), but it is not part of the public record. Airports do not keep records of the numbers of animals traveling through them, although a few attempt to measure the use of their service animal/pet relief areas, as described in chapter four of this report. Only two of the 24 airports interviewed did estimate the numbers of animals passing through them: Blue Grass

6 Airport (LEX) in Lexington, Kentucky, and Heathrow International Airport (LHR) in London, both of which appear as case examples in chapter two. METHODOLOGY A survey was considered but rejected for this study because it was thought the most significant infor- mation would come in incidental comments triggered by the questions in structured interviews. For this reason, this report only used interviews and a literature review to collect data. Interviews This study’s scope required data collection from airports, airline pet call centers, pet shipping com- panies and forwarders, service dog agencies, animal transportation associations, and regulatory agen- cies. Appendix C lists the intended and actual interviewees as well as those added as the study evolved. How Interviewees Were Selected With the advice and approval of the topic panel, the research team used its professional knowledge and a preliminary literature review to develop a list of 52 intended interviewees representing the categories specified by the scope. The organizations that fit the requirements of the scope were con- tacted to determine the most important interviewee(s) for each. No attempt was made to randomize the selection of interviewees, so the sample is a convenience sample. Figure 1 shows the distribution of the 52 initially planned interviewees among the categories. The panel specified that certain airports be included in the study: San Diego International Airport (SAN), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport (MSP], Miami International Airport (MIA), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). In mid-2014, these six large-hub airports were either known to have advanced programs for accommodating animals in their terminals or were actively seeking guidance on such accommodations from other airports. As the study became widely known through the newsletters of some of the associations on the ini- tial interview list, other organizations in the same category volunteered for interviews. The research team does not believe the extra interviews or their self-selected nature violated the validity of the data because they all fell in the same category (service dog agencies) and the data are aggregated for each category. Lastly, as the literature review and initial interviews progressed, certain additional organizations clearly needed to be interviewed. For example, interviews with several agencies, companies, and organizations in Miami and Lexington were added to round out the case examples. The interview FIGURE 1 Initial interviewees by category.

7 with the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC) was prompted by the findings of the literature review. Figure 2 shows the distribution of the final list of 74 entities from whom interviews were sought among the categories. Table 1 shows the characteristics of the original 20 airports in the study plus the four added airports. Appendix C shows all 74 interviewees approached during the entire study, annotated for response or no response. The table in Appendix C indicates the 21 interviewees added during the course of the study. Results of Interview Requests Figure 3 shows the outcomes of the 74 interview requests. Fifty-five (55) organizations gave interviews, eight organizations (including six of the 11 airlines) declined to participate, and FIGURE 2 Final interviews sought by category. TABLE 1 TYPES AND SIZES OF AIRPORTS IN STUDY NPIAS Category Airports in Study Airports in U.S. Percentage in Study Large Hub Airports 13 301 43.3% Non-U.S. Large Hub Airport 1 N/A N/A Medium Hub Airports 3 331 9.1% Small Hub Airports 3 711 4.2% Non-Hub Primary Airports 1 2501 0.4% Commercial Service Airports (non-primary) 0 1171 0% Total of Service Airports 20 5011 4.0% Reliever Airports 1 2682 0.4% General Aviation Airports (public use airports only) 2 2,5632 0.08% Source: Smith and McKinney data. 1 FAA (2014a). Preliminary CY13 enplanements. 2 FAA (2014b). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. N/A = Not applicable.

8 11 organizations never responded despite at least two e-mails and one telephone request. Count- ing “interview completed” and “interviewed declined” as responses, the overall response rate for this study was 85%. It is important to note that seven of the 55 complete interviews were with members of the topic panel (L. Ankers, P. Burke, J. Dugan, L. Ferrigno, L. Moya, W. Woolf, and L. Miller). In addition, a conversation was held with Pierce to explore the extent to which to include military working dogs and military family pets. The seven interviews with panelists were conducted exactly the same as were the other 48 interviews. How the Interviews Were Conducted Most interviews were conducted by telephone by one or two of the review team, but a few were conducted through e-mail exchanges. The interview questions and summary of the project scope were provided in advance to the interviewees. One or both members of the research team called the interviewee. The duration of telephone interviews ranged from five minutes to more than 90 minutes, with an average of 20–25 minutes. Where appropriate, follow-up questions were asked. In all interviews, relevant internal documents were discussed and copies requested. Some interviewees preferred to send written responses to the advance questionnaire. For those respondents, follow-up questions were presented by e-mail or by phone. What Questions Were Asked Appendix D reproduces the questions asked each interviewee. There was a general questionnaire used with every category of organization, and there were tailored supplemental questionnaires for each; for example, airports or service animal companies. Case Examples In order to illustrate the entities involved in the air transportation of animals at airports, the interactions among those entities, and how airport-stakeholder partnerships deal with issues, four case examples were developed, which are presented in chapter two: • Roanoke–Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA) in Virginia • Blue Grass Airport (LEX) in Lexington, Kentucky • Miami International Airport (MIA) in Florida • Heathrow Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow Airport (LHR) in London. FIGURE 3 Outcomes of interview requests.

9 Data Analysis Information gathered from the interviews, documents shared by airports and other organizations, and results from the literature review for common themes were analyzed. Particular attention was given themes related to • Recurring issues; • Isolated issues; • Alternative solutions to a given issue; • Gaps in the information; and • Evaluation and metrics applied to the accommodation of animals at airports. The results of the analysis are presented in the four case examples in chapter two and the discus- sions of the six significant issues in chapter four. RESULTS Pertinent findings from the interviews, case examples, literature review, and data analysis are presented in three formats: 1. Case examples from ROA, LEX, MIA, and LHR are presented in chapter two. The focus is on the types of animals passing through each airport, the identities of the major players who interact in the transport of animals, the nature of their interactions, and how animals traveling through the airport affect the airport’s other operations. 2. In chapter four, the significant issues identified are amplified and quantified where possible, along with existing and potential solutions suggested by interviewees or in the literature. 3. Procedures, information, and plan components necessary to develop an effective plan for an air- port to accommodate animals traveling through is introduced in chapter four and reproduced as Appendix B. Airports of any size or type can follow this checklist to develop their own unique plans for accommodating animals.

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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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