FAA Preps For Crowded Skies For Super Bowl Sunday

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The Super Bowl, coming up this Sunday, is not only a big event for football teams, TV advertisers, and pizza delivery drivers, it's a big deal for general aviation, with lots of extra traffic expected for south Florida and special flight rules in place. The FAA will establish a TFR around Dolphin Stadium effective two hours before the Super Bowl begins until one hour after the game ends, approximately 4 p.m. to midnight local time. The TFR consists of two rings of protected airspace, 10 nautical miles and 30 nautical miles in diameter, from the ground up to 18,000 feet surrounding the stadium. The only flights permitted within the 10-mile ring will be public safety, military, and commercial passenger, cargo, and private charters operating under a TSA-approved security program. Flights by media, banner towers, blimps, general aviation, or any other flight activities, are prohibited. The 10-mile ring includes Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Opa-Locka Executive Airport and North Perry Airport. GA aircraft at those three airports will not be able to arrive or depart while the TFR is in effect.

Flights will not be permitted at North Perry Airport while the TFR is active, but authorized flights will be permitted at Ft. Lauderdale and Opa-Locka. Within the 10- to 30-mile ring, general aviation pilots must tune their transponders to a discreet beacon code assigned by ATC, and pilots must communicate with air traffic controllers. FAA Flight Standards aviation safety inspectors will conduct intensive airfield surveillance at many South Florida airports this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Inspectors will be at Hollywood, Opa-Locka, Ft. Lauderdale International, Ft. Lauderdale Executive, Homestead General, Tamiami, Pompano Beach and Boca Raton airports daily. During the game, FAA aviation safety inspectors will be stationed in Dolphin Stadium with the Miami-Dade Police Dept. and other law enforcement organizations to conduct surveillance of potential TFR violators, and to be available immediately to law enforcement if necessary. The FAA did make one exception -- it issued a waiver to allow a USAF B-2 Stealth Bomber to overfly Dolphin Stadium before the Super Bowl begins.