First UK airport to get permanent team of therapy dogs to calm nervous fliers

A new crew will be walking the airport from Saturday (Picture: Aberdeen International Airport)

A Scottish airport is getting UK’s first permanent therapy dog team to help calm nervous fliers.

Therapets will lend a paw to those who are anxious getting on planes at Aberdeen International Airport from this weekend.

The travel hub has drafted in a team of four-legged volunteers after a successful trial over the busy Christmas and New Year period.

The airport will become the first in the UK to have its very own therapy dog team when the Canine Crew start regular working regularly on Saturday.

The dogs are easily identified in their high-vis jackets and bandanas, and will mingle with passengers and staff throughout the terminal.

File photo dated 04/10/17 of a general view of Aberdeen International Airport. Workers at Aberdeen International Airport have voted to strike in a row over pay and pensions. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday April 23, 2019. Members of the trade union Unite backed the action by 88.3% on a turnout of 79.5%. See PA story INDUSTRY Airport. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The Scottish airport will be the first in the UK (Picture: PA)

They are already regular visitors to nursing homes, schools, prisons and universities, but this is the first venture of this scale based in the UK bringing dogs into an airport environment.

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The animals have already been helping to improve mental health and wellbeing, alleviate stress and calm nerves, and are now ready to work their magic in their new surroundings.

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A joint endeavour by Therapet and Canine Concern Scotland, the team of 14 dogs – of various sizes – will be deployed with their handlers on a rota basis.

Included in the team are friendly golden retrievers, German shepherds, beagles and a pug, among others.

Bronte - Golden Retriever Therapet dogs programme - the Canine Crew Who are the Canine Crew? Our team of four legged volunteers delight passengers with a friendly wag or furry cuddle. All of our therapy dogs are registered Therapets, part of Canine Concern Scotland Trust. Known to reduce anxiety, therapy dogs can bring smiles and brighten your day. The Canine Crew and their accompanying handlers roam the terminal every week to help you feel welcomed and relaxed. The dogs in bandanas and handlers in blue vests are an excellent addition to the customer service team. Passengers love seeing warm, wet noses and wagging tails that help create a friendly, PAWSitive experience at ABZ! Meet our Canine Crew and see when they are on shift. See one of our Canine Crew in the terminal? Make sure you share your pictures on social media using the hashtag #caninecrewabz, and we'll share the best ones! Meet the Aberdeen Airport Canine Crew Our Therapet Dogs are here to make your airport experience more enjoyable
Bronte is one of three golden retrievers on the team (Picture: Aberdeen Airport)
Luna - Collie Therapet dogs programme - the Canine Crew Who are the Canine Crew? Our team of four legged volunteers delight passengers with a friendly wag or furry cuddle. All of our therapy dogs are registered Therapets, part of Canine Concern Scotland Trust. Known to reduce anxiety, therapy dogs can bring smiles and brighten your day. The Canine Crew and their accompanying handlers roam the terminal every week to help you feel welcomed and relaxed. The dogs in bandanas and handlers in blue vests are an excellent addition to the customer service team. Passengers love seeing warm, wet noses and wagging tails that help create a friendly, PAWSitive experience at ABZ! Meet our Canine Crew and see when they are on shift. See one of our Canine Crew in the terminal? Make sure you share your pictures on social media using the hashtag #caninecrewabz, and we'll share the best ones! Meet the Aberdeen Airport Canine Crew Our Therapet Dogs are here to make your airport experience more enjoyable
Luna the collie (Picture: Aberdeen Airport)
Pax - Utonagan Therapet dogs programme - the Canine Crew Who are the Canine Crew? Our team of four legged volunteers delight passengers with a friendly wag or furry cuddle. All of our therapy dogs are registered Therapets, part of Canine Concern Scotland Trust. Known to reduce anxiety, therapy dogs can bring smiles and brighten your day. The Canine Crew and their accompanying handlers roam the terminal every week to help you feel welcomed and relaxed. The dogs in bandanas and handlers in blue vests are an excellent addition to the customer service team. Passengers love seeing warm, wet noses and wagging tails that help create a friendly, PAWSitive experience at ABZ! Meet our Canine Crew and see when they are on shift. See one of our Canine Crew in the terminal? Make sure you share your pictures on social media using the hashtag #caninecrewabz, and we'll share the best ones! Meet the Aberdeen Airport Canine Crew Our Therapet Dogs are here to make your airport experience more enjoyable
Pax is part of the Canine Crew (Picture: Aberdeen Airport)

Therapet’s north-east representative Diane Wood said: ‘We are delighted to take the lead in this project and have the opportunity to work with the Aberdeen airport.

‘All our dogs – and their owners – have undergone rigorous training and assessment to work in a variety of environments and the dogs are used to being stroked and petted and generally made a fuss of so they will lap up the attention and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to interact with passengers and staff.

‘The mere action of stroking a dog slows down the heartbeat and reduces blood pressure so they will be a great help to anyone feeling nervous about their journey.

‘The dogs will work in pairs, for two hours at a time once a week and we plan to keep everybody updated about what dogs are visiting and when.’

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Grace - Scottish Deerhound Therapet dogs programme - the Canine Crew Who are the Canine Crew? Our team of four legged volunteers delight passengers with a friendly wag or furry cuddle. All of our therapy dogs are registered Therapets, part of Canine Concern Scotland Trust. Known to reduce anxiety, therapy dogs can bring smiles and brighten your day. The Canine Crew and their accompanying handlers roam the terminal every week to help you feel welcomed and relaxed. The dogs in bandanas and handlers in blue vests are an excellent addition to the customer service team. Passengers love seeing warm, wet noses and wagging tails that help create a friendly, PAWSitive experience at ABZ! Meet our Canine Crew and see when they are on shift. See one of our Canine Crew in the terminal? Make sure you share your pictures on social media using the hashtag #caninecrewabz, and we'll share the best ones! Meet the Aberdeen Airport Canine Crew Our Therapet Dogs are here to make your airport experience more enjoyable
Scottish deerhound Grace (Picture: Aberdeen Airport)
Enzo - Red Labrador Therapet dogs programme - the Canine Crew Who are the Canine Crew? Our team of four legged volunteers delight passengers with a friendly wag or furry cuddle. All of our therapy dogs are registered Therapets, part of Canine Concern Scotland Trust. Known to reduce anxiety, therapy dogs can bring smiles and brighten your day. The Canine Crew and their accompanying handlers roam the terminal every week to help you feel welcomed and relaxed. The dogs in bandanas and handlers in blue vests are an excellent addition to the customer service team. Passengers love seeing warm, wet noses and wagging tails that help create a friendly, PAWSitive experience at ABZ! Meet our Canine Crew and see when they are on shift. See one of our Canine Crew in the terminal? Make sure you share your pictures on social media using the hashtag #caninecrewabz, and we'll share the best ones! Meet the Aberdeen Airport Canine Crew Our Therapet Dogs are here to make your airport experience more enjoyable
Enzo the red labrador (Picture: Aberdeen Airport)

Aberdeen airport duty manager Fraser Bain added: ‘We’re excited to be the first airport in the UK to offer this service to passengers.

‘As well as benefiting our visitors, we also recognise the benefit to the mental health and wellbeing of our staff.

‘The Canine Crew is made up of a variety of dogs, with a mixture of brilliant traits and personalities and we cannot wait to see the reaction of our passengers.’