Banners OK'd At Rose Bowl

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The skies are open for business over this week's Rose Bowl festivities ... and that has some local officials steamed. The FAA will allow up to six banner-towing aircraft over the parade and football game at any one time. It's doing so despite security worries by police and civic leaders. "It creates a dynamic where the airspace isn't absolutely secure," Pasadena Police Chief Bernard Melekian told the Associated Press. FAA spokesman Jerry Snyder said the number of aircraft was restricted to six because of Melekian's concerns but the agency wasn't about to quarantine the area. "We certainly can shut down the airspace if warranted, but just to arbitrarily do that without taking into consideration the concerns of all users of airspace would be inappropriate," Snyder said. The particular banner pilots and aircraft have been thoroughly checked out and will be sending a transponder code while in flight. In the wake of 9/11, the banner flights were banned at last year's Rose Bowl. Meanwhile, the FAA has issued some flight restrictions for Pasadena and New York City over the New Year's period. Altitude restrictions in Pasadena will range between 3,000 and 5,000 feet for much of New Year's Day. In New York, restrictions begin locally in the afternoon of New Year's Eve and end during New Year's Day. There's a 1,500-foot, one-mile radius restriction on flights near the Statue of Liberty and a 2,000-foot minimum-altitude restriction over Manhattan between 23rd Street and 96th Street.