With the Super Bowl bringing thousands of people into Phoenix, Arizona, TSA at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) introduced additional security measures to ensure safe travel.
More than 25 TSA explosive detection canines and their handlers are in Phoenix to assist in security operations at key venues at PHX and throughout the Valley of the Sun. The canines are specially trained to detect explosives and explosive components. Some of the teams work regularly at PHX while others have come from airports from across the country.
The canines have been trained to navigate among large groups of people to pinpoint the source of an explosive odor, often without the source being aware and even if the source is mobile. The handlers are trained to read the dog’s behavior when it indicates an explosive scent has been detected. If a dog alerts its handler to something suspicious, TSA follows an established procedure to resolve the alarm.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has classified Super Bowl LVII as a Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) Level 1, which qualifies it for extensive federal support. More than 650 DHS personnel are currently involved in dedicated security operations in and around the Phoenix area.
Following the football game Sunday night and the conclusion of the Phoenix Open golf tournament Sunday afternoon, TSA prepared for an influx of travelers at PHX. TSA projects that on Monday, February 13, it will screen more than 78,000 departing passengers and crew at PHX’s security checkpoints, making it potentially the busiest day ever for TSA screening operations at PHX. Currently projections indicate that Tuesday will be nearly as busy.
TSA will be supplementing its local security operations with more than 100 security screening officers from airports around the country to ensure that all lanes are open to screen departing travelers. Travelers can also expect to see explosive detection canines working in and around the security checkpoints, adding an additional layer of security at the airport. Checkpoint operations are expected to be extremely busy throughout the early morning all the way into the late afternoon.