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Thursday, March 30, 2023

TSA Records a Win for Super Bowl Security

TSA explosive detection canines and handlers could be seen working in and around security checkpoints at multiple terminals. This added layer of security made many travelers eligible for expedited screening.

With Super Bowl LVII and the 2023 Phoenix Open golf tournament in the books, the attention turned Monday to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) as tens of thousands of travelers were expected at the airport.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at PHX had been planning security operations in support of the Super Bowl for months. It also planned for the additional passenger volumes resulting from the golf tournament being held the same weekend. TSA’s priority was ensuring that all checkpoints were fully staffed and resources were in place for maximum security efficiency and effectiveness.

On Monday at PHX, TSA screened more than 83,914 travelers and their carry-on luggage through the airport’s five security checkpoints. The highest recorded wait time at any point during the day was 22 minutes, at Terminal 4 during 9:00 a.m. hour. TSA at PHX also screened more than 40,112 checked bags including 2,496 oversized bags which include golf clubs.

“The Super Bowl – regardless of the teams that are playing in it – has become a premiere sporting event for tens of thousands of people, leading to high travel volumes locally on the Monday after the game. This year was no exception at PHX,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Arizona Jerry Agnew. “We are proud of how the entire TSA operation went and how our security professionals delivered on our commitment to provide exceptional customer service while securing the aviation system. The partnership with local, state and federal airport and law enforcement officials was a key factor to our success this past week. The PHX airport staff, volunteers and airlines took an all-hands-on-deck approach that resulted in transparent operation and consistent movement of people, luggage and aircraft.”

Overnight Sunday, TSA kept two security checkpoints open, requiring several employees to add an additional shift to their schedules. On Monday, no later than 4 a.m., every security checkpoint in both terminals was open to screen travelers.

TSA explosive detection canines and handlers could be seen working in and around security checkpoints at multiple terminals. This added layer of security made many travelers eligible for expedited screening. TSA canines from around the country joined the mission

In the day leading up to the Super Bowl, more than 50 TSA explosive detection canines and their handlers worked at key venues such as the Phoenix Convention Center, State Farm Stadium and PHX. Some of the teams are based at PHX while others came from airports from across the country. An additional 35 canines trained by TSA were involved as well, working side-by-side with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. 

Throughout the week, TSA deployed Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams at transportation hubs leading up to and after the Super Bowl. The could be seen working at Valley Metro stations as well as at PHX.

TSTSA VIPR teams use a risk-based framework to deploy at unpredictable times and locations in cooperation with local authorities. This additional law enforcement, security presence during specific periods in support of special events is a deterrent against terrorist activity.

Once the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) classified the Super Bowl as a Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) Level 1, it qualified for extensive federal support. More than 650 DHS personnel including TSA employees were involved in dedicated security operations in and around the Valley of the Sun.

Super Bowl LVIII is slated for Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Security planning for that event is already underway.

Read more at TSA

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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