Everyone loves a huge sporting event like the Super Bowl – it usually even includes a fly-over! But, if you’re operating in or around Miami next weekend, the last thing you want is a flag on the play…
Super Bowl LIV is happening in Miami on Sunday, 2 February 2020, and will attract a lot of attention – some in the form of intensified aircraft operations in the vicinity of the venue. As a designated National Security Special Event, a variety of restrictions and special procedures are in place between 25 January – 04 February 2020, most significantly a TFR centred on the stadium on gameday.
Whether you are arriving, transiting, or departing the area, here are five key things to keep in mind:
1. Information can (and likely will) change
Check NOTAMs frequently, call your Flight Service Station, monitor ATIS – make sure you are operating to the most current information. Your first stop, however, should be the FAA Super Bowl Flight Advisory and the FAA Super Bowl Website.
2. Expect delays, and plan accordingly
Intensified aircraft and security operations mean that reroutes are extremely likely, as are ground and airborne delays due to potential Traffic Management Initiatives. Increase your contingency fuel, manage expectations, and build extra time into your schedule wherever you can. Preferential IFR Arrival and Departure routings are also in place for jet and turboprop aircraft, while VFR traffic may experience lengthy delays and holding.
3. Don’t lose sight of the wider picture
The main event may be in Miami, but there will be impacts further afield. In particular, watch out for POTUS/VP TFRs (KPBI/Palm Beach International will likely be impacted) and other restrictions/impacts as military, law enforcement, and medical services position throughout the event. Efforts are also being made to reduce demand on the airspace through actively discouraging training, sightseeing, and other non-essential flight activities.
4. Book ahead to avoid disappointment
FBO space is limited, and pre-booking of slots will be required for most South Florida airports between 29 January and 4 February. Signature Flight Support have a Super Bowl page with further information. Equally so, if you are relying on rental cars, hotels, or other local infrastructure – book them now!
5. Ensure your documents are in order
File your flight plan between 22 and 6 hours ahead of departure, and ensure you have your pilot’s license, company ID (if applicable), applicable aircraft documentation, and access to copies of all reservations/confirmations. Increased security operations may involve ramp checks, security searches, or routing through a gateway airport for TSA screening.
With careful planning and collaboration (and some amount of patience!) from all involved, Super Bowl LIV is shaping up to be a memorable experience. Fly smart, fly safe, and if you have information that could help the community, pass it along!