Phoenix Sky Harbor sees nearly 84K pass through security after Super Bowl, golf

Feb 14, 2023, 8:00 PM

PHOENIX – A day after thousands of sports fans jetted their way home out of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, federal security authorities were pleased with the outcome – smooth going.

The Transportation Security Administration said agents screened nearly 84,000 travelers Monday at Terminals 3 and 4.

After Super Bowl LVII in Glendale and the PGA WM Phoenix Open finished up Sunday, Arizona’s largest airport was packed with people who checked 40,112 bags.

“It was about what we were anticipating and what we prepared for,” TSA Arizona spokeswoman Patricia Mancha told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

“The planning and preparation for this started immediately after … [last year’s] Super Bowl, if not sooner,” she said.

More than 650 personnel with the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees TSA, were involved in the airport’s operations.

Screeners were on duty overnight Sunday and by 4 a.m. Monday all security checkpoints in both terminals were open.

Explosives-detecting canines helped speed up the checkpoint process. The extra layer of security made it possible for many to qualify for expedited screening.

“We had over 50 TSA canine teams and about 30 law enforcement canine teams that all worked here,” Mancha said.

“You’d be surprised at the things people do to try to get these dogs’ attention. We know they’re very cute, but they’re working and we need them to concentrate.”

The busiest hour was 9 a.m., when the longest wait time at security was 22 minutes.

“We opened up additional lanes, we had additional screeners and kept the line moving, which was our goal,” Mancha said.

But another factor in the drama-free security pass-throughs?

“The travelers were fantastic,” she said. “They followed the rules.”

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Phoenix Sky Harbor sees nearly 84K pass through security after Super Bowl, golf