For Immediate Release

January 28, 2009
Contact: Kathleen Bergen
Phone: (404) 305-5100

The Federal Aviation Administration is prepared to handle the large increase in private planes that will fly in and out of the Tampa Bay area for the upcoming Super Bowl. The FAA expects that as many as 1,000 additional general aviation aircraft will use the area’s airports during Super Bowl weekend.

  • The FAA produced a notice explaining the air traffic changes that private pilots can expect to encounter around Super Bowl weekend. The notice is available at The FAA also is asking local and national pilot organizations to distribute the notice to their members. Pilots should refer to the most current Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) before flying into Tampa Bay on Super Bowl Sunday.
  • The FAA will implement three separate Temporary Flight Restrictions around Raymond James Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. Private pilots will not be allowed to fly near the stadium for several hours before, during and after the game. Details of the restrictions are available at The FAA posted the restrictions three weeks before the game so that all pilots should be aware of them.
  • Tampa International Airport's east-west runway (9/27) will be closed for aircraft parking. The Airport will provide ramp control service to ensure that general aviation aircraft are positioned to allow swift and efficient departures when flights contact FAA air traffic control for departure clearance.
  • FAA air traffic controllers from Tampa Tower will staff Fixed Base Operators at the airport to issue departure clearances to the pilots. FAA technicians installed Flight Data Input/Output (FDIO) equipment at both FBOs and ensured that the equipment interfaces with the tower. This will reduce frequency congestion, and will allow for orderly and systematic departures after the game.
  • The FAA anticipates that some general aviation flights will depart after the game, and the remainder will depart Monday morning. To meet the increased number of flights air traffic has increased staffing at Tampa Tower on Sunday morning and evening shifts and on the Monday morning shift.
  • The FAA has established arrival and departure procedures for helicopters into and out of the Tampa Airport without impacting fixed-wing aircraft operations.
  • Based on parking availability for general aviation flights, the FAA anticipates that as many as 250 general aviation aircraft may operate at Tampa International Airport and 300 aircraft at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, both of which have FAA air traffic control towers. Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, which has an FAA-funded Federal Contract Tower, has parking for 200 aircraft. The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority will establish a temporary air traffic control tower at Vandenberg Airport to accommodate up to 180 flights.
  • The FAA has developed air traffic procedures for departures from Tampa Bay airports into high-altitude airspace in anticipation of a significant departure push immediately after the game. The FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center in Herndon, VA, has established a General Aviation Program (GAP). 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.