Federal Aviation Administration Support of Super Bowl XLIX

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the aviation community and the National Football League to ensure safe, secure and efficient operations before, during and after Super Bowl XLIX, which is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

The FAA expects an additional 1,200 to 1,400 general aviation flights into the Phoenix area for Super Bowl XLIX, and has been planning for the event for more than a year.

  • The FAA has worked with airport operators and aviation businesses to establish reservation programs to manage the heavy arrival and departure demands for the game. The program requires pilots to make reservations to fly into and out of local airports before and after the game. It spreads out arrivals and departures so the air traffic control system is not over-taxed at any particular time. The FAA will use the program at the following airports: Phoenix Sky Harbor, Scottsdale, Deer Valley, Goodyear, Glendale, Falcon Field, Phoenix Mesa Gateway and Chandler.

  • The FAA also developed an overall airspace plan to make air traffic operations as efficient as possible. We established dedicated northbound departure routes out of Scottsdale and Deer Valley airports to keep flows from these facilities automatically separated from one another. This allows us to release aircraft from both airports simultaneously, which increases the number of aircraft that can depart the area during the high-demand times after the game on Sunday and Monday. While aircraft are departing to the north from these airports, they’ll be departing to the east and south from Sky Harbor, Mesa Gateway, Falcon Field and Chandler. The FAA will increase staffing and operating hours at air traffic control facilities as needed.

  • The FAA will establish a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) that will be centered on the University of Phoenix Stadium. The TFR will consist of circular rings that will extend from the ground to 18,000 feet in altitude. The restrictions will be in effect from 3:25 p.m. local time to 11:59 p.m. local time on Feb. 1.

    - There will be a highly restricted inner ring within a 10-mile radius of the stadium in which general aviation aircraft, media, banner towers, blimps and unmanned aircraft will be prohibited.  Glendale, Goodyear and Williams-Gateway airports are inside this inner ring. No general aviation operators will be able to fly into or out of these locations while the restrictions are in effect. Commercial airlines will be able to operate as usual. Approved law enforcement and air ambulance operators will be able to fly in the inner ring provided they meet certain operational requirements.

    - A second outer ring will encompass the airspace between 10 and 30 miles from the stadium. General aviation aircraft will be able to operate there provided they have filed flight plans, are using transponders that broadcast specific information about their aircraft, and are in two-way communication with air traffic controllers. Scottsdale, Deer Valley and Falcon Field airports are in this outer ring. Aircraft cannot loiter within the outer ring, and certain operations will not be allowed, including flight training, practice instrument approaches, aerobatic flight, glider operations, parachute operations, ultralight, hang gliding, balloon operations, banner towing operations, sightseeing operations, unmanned aircraft and certain other operations.

  • All unmanned aircraft operations – also known as drones—are prohibited within the restricted areas. These include model aircraft operations, model rocketry and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Anyone who operates an unmanned aircraft in the restricted area could face civil penalties or criminal charges.

  • Air travelers going to Super Bowl XLIX this year should be aware that not all tour packages include a ticket to the Feb. 1 game in Glendale, Ariz. Under U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) consumer protection rules, any operator marketing a Super Bowl air package that is promoted as including game tickets must have the tickets in hand or have a written contract for the tickets at the time of each sale.  DOT cautions travelers that if a game ticket is not specifically mentioned in advertisements or other solicitation material or listed as a tour feature, the ticket is probably not included. DOT’s rules state that if a tour was described as including a game ticket and you do not receive one, you are entitled to a full refund of the entire package price even if you have already traveled to the city where the game will take place.  People may file complaints about Super Bowl tours that advertise tickets but do not provide them by contacting the Aviation Consumer Protection Division online at www.dot.gov/airconsumer, by voice-mail at (202) 366-2220 or by TTY at (202) 366-0511.  Media Contact: Caitlin Harvey: (202) 366-4570.