No, they're not ordering in pizza, though that might be part of the FAA's plan for the day. They're preparing to handle the large increase in GA traffic in the Tampa Bay area for the upcoming Super Bowl, on Sunday, Feb. 1. The FAA expects that as many as 1,000 additional GA aircraft will use the area's airports over the weekend. If you plan to be in one of those aircraft, you can find out about the FAA's air traffic plans at the FAA Web site. Pilots should also refer to Notams before flying into the area. Three separate TFRs will be in place around Raymond James Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, and private pilots will not be allowed to fly near the stadium for several hours before, during and after the game. Click here for details of those TFR restrictions. The east-west runway (9/27) at Tampa International Airport will be closed for aircraft parking. FAA air traffic controllers from the Tampa Tower will be deployed to FBOs at the airport to issue departure clearances. Extra FAA staff will be on duty through the weekend. Special procedures are in place for helicopter operations. The FAA also has special procedures in place for parking and traffic management at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, Lakeland Linder Regional Airport and Vandenberg Airport.
The FAA also will operate General Aviation Program (GAP) air traffic procedures for departures from Tampa Bay airports into high-altitude airspace immediately after the game. GAP enables air traffic control to monitor the number of flights in Tampa airspace and meter flights by issuing expected departure times to flights as necessary, the FAA says.