Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The Transportation Security Administration intends to use specially trained dogs to assist screen passengers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this weekend, when it expects up to twice as many travelers as usual thanks to Super Bowl LII.
The TSA said Friday it projects 69,000 people will pass through the security checkpoint Monday, up from an average of 34,000 passengers on on a normal day.
The agency will use 20 dogs to help detect explosives and explosive components to expedite the screening process for travelers departing from the airport.
"Passenger screening canines are able to work in large crowds in a busy transportation environment and can pinpoint the source of an explosive odor," said Cliff Van Leuven, TSA federal security director for Minnesota. "We are thrilled to add this additional layer of security during what is guaranteed to be a peak travel period at MSP."
The TSA said the dogs will be used at the security checkpoint, making travelers eligible for expedited screening.
"If a dog alerts its handler to something suspicious, TSA follows an established procedure to resolve the alarm," a news release from the agency said. "The use of these canines are an effective tool in detecting explosives, which are known to be the greatest threat to the aviation system."
And while Ebbers, Eette and Auntie Llenoir might be the most adorable TSA workers passengers have ever seen, the TSA advises travelers not to get too friendly with the pooches.
"While they are sociable, they are working canines so they should not be petted or fed by anyone except their handlers," the release said.