Airport ahead of the curve with indoor dog restroom

Dept. of Transportation regulation dictates most airports now must have them

SAN DIEGO – Dogs that travel with their human companions on airplanes are doing a collective tail wag over a new regulation from the Department of Transportation. The rule requires all airports that serve 10,000 passengers a year or more to provide an indoor place, past security, where dogs can do their business.

It’s something most of us who fly never think about. But between restrooms for human guys and gals in San Diego International Airport’s Terminal Two is a restroom for our precious pooches.

For folks like Robyn Adams who travel with their four-legged friends, the little room is heaven sent. CW6 was there as Robyn and her dog Lilly checked out the indoor facility. Even though they’d just flown in from Atlanta, Lilly didn’t seem to have any pressing business. But for Robyn, that’s not what matters.

“You have to take your dog past security, back in through the security to get back in… just to get off the plane, take your dog to the bathroom, let her do her business, and get on a connecting flight, so it’s really nice,” Adams said.

This indoor pet relief area, as the airport dryly calls it, eliminates that hassle. That was the main reason for the Department of Transportation’s new regulation. The rule was specifically targeted toward people with service dogs, but any dogs are welcome.

“It’s much more convenient to be able to have the pet relieve themselves post-security than it would be pre-security. However we do have a total of 8 pet relief areas throughout the airport,” said Airport spokeswoman Rebecca Bloomfield.

The outdoor pet relief areas are similar to the indoor one featuring artificial turf and a pee-inducing fire hydrant. But the outdoor ones feature sprinklers airport cleaning crews can use to help wash the area. In that regard, the indoor one is different. “That turf is soaked in odor-free enzyme so that it’s non-harmful to the pets… and gets rid of the odors,” Bloomfield said. When it comes to “number 2”, people are responsible for cleaning up the “deposits.”

Part of the airport’s master plan calls for the eventual demolition of Terminal One, and Bloomfield said when that happens, another indoor pet relief area will likely be added. But for now dogs and their humans are just happy to see the little room in between the human restrooms in Terminal Two.


More from CW6