The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is hosting some special guests this week who are helping to keep the public safe and secure leading up to and in the days after Super Bowl LVI.
More than 30 TSA explosive detection canines and their handlers are in Los Angeles to assist in security operations at key venues in the city and at LAX. These working canines are specially trained to detect explosives and explosive components. Some of the teams work regularly at LAX while others have come from airports from across the country.
At the airport, TSA’s use of explosive detection canines significantly enhances the efficiency of the security screening process, serving as an added layer of security. Away from the airport, the dogs can work in a variety of locations and use their keen sense of smell to augment existing security efforts.
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.
TSA’s canines are regularly tested to ensure they maintain excellent scent capabilities. While they are sociable, they are working canines so they should not be petted or fed by anyone except their handlers.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has classified Super Bowl LVI as a Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) Level 1, which qualifies it for extensive federal support. More than 500 DHS personnel are currently involved in dedicated security operations in and around the Los Angeles area.
Following the football game Sunday night, TSA is prepared for an influx of travelers at LAX. TSA projects that on Monday, Feb. 14, it will screen 90,000 passengers and crew at LAX’s security checkpoints. Currently projections indicate that Tuesday will be nearly as busy.
Starting Sunday evening, TSA will keep two security checkpoints open for 24 hours. The checkpoint at Terminal 1.5, which is located to the west of Terminal 1, will remain open overnight and provide access to gates on the north side of the airport. The checkpoint in Terminal 5 will also be open all night to allow access to all gates on the south side of the airport and in Tom Bradley International Airport. All security checkpoints in all terminals will be open no later than 4 a.m. on Monday.
With the number of people expected to travel these days, TSA is advising that all passengers plan to arrive at the airport early and prepared for every step of the travel process including security screening.
TSA recommends travelers download the myTSA app, a trusted source for travel information. Travelers can also Tweet or Message AskTSA to get answers to their questions. Live assistance is available daily including weekends and holidays from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT.