FAA Not Charging NFL For Super Bowl ATC Costs

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The FAA has confirmed to AVweb that the NFL will not have to pay for the extra costs of providing air traffic services in the New York area that result from Sunday's Super Bowl game in New Jersey. In an email to AVweb late Sunday, the agency also indicated that last year's game in New Orleans was without cost to the league for air traffic services. "The FAA requires event sponsors to provide reimbursement when the FAA has to move equipment, personnel or other resources to support the event because those resources are not available at the event location, as was the case with Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis in 2011," the FAA said in a statement. "The FAA generally can support most events in major urban areas with existing FAA resources." EAA has launched court action to recoup about $450,000 in fees assessed by the FAA for expenses related to air traffic services for AirVenture 2013. EAA is expected to have a statement Monday. While the manpower and equipment to handle the extra 1,100 aircraft landing and taking off at New York area airports over the weekend may already be in place, there is no question that handling all that traffic in a compressed period of time required a major extra effort, as outlined by both the FAA in an internal memo (PDF) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association in a news release (PDF) earlier this week.

NATCA says extra shifts are being worked at facilities in the area. “We are staffing at full capacity; we have all controllers on duty and plan to have them work overtime," Edmund Granton, the NATCA rep in Teterboro, said in NATCA's statement. "Our membership here at Teterboro Tower has been working tirelessly in preparation for the big game.” NATCA also notes that a midnight shift was added at Farmingdale tower, which normally closes at 11 p.m. In her memo to staff, the FAA's Acting Air Traffic Organization COO Teri Bristol says up to 140 FAA staff will be dedicated to moving Super Bowl traffic. "Our work is helping enable access for all aircraft, keep delays to a minimum and ensure event security as well," she wrote in her memo to staff.