Bizav FBOs, Operators Prepare For Super Bowl Traffic

Sheltair at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida is readying for an influx of aircraft ahead of the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 in Miami.
Credit: Molly McMillin

South Florida business aviation operators and FBOs have spent weeks preparing for the mass influx and exit of aircraft and passengers who will be attending Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2 in Miami. 

The FAA has projected more than 2,500 additional takeoffs and landings and nearly 1,300 additional aircraft parked at South Florida airports during Super Bowl week.

Area fixed base operators include Atlantic Aviation, Fountainebleau Aviation, Signature Flight Support, Sheltair and National Jets operating at Miami Opa-Locka Executive Airport,  Fort Lauderdale Hollywood-International, Miami Executive Airport and Miami International.

As might be expected during such an event as the Super Bowl, FAA stakeholders and law enforcement partners have been planning and training for months, developing a comprehensive plan to ensure safety and minimize air traffic delays associated with the increase in game-related general aviation flights at local airports.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, a 15-min. drive from Hard Rock Stadium, Sheltair is expecting increased numbers of aircraft arrivals beginning about four days before the game and a rush to depart well into Monday, Feb. 3.

Like other area FBOs, Sheltair has plans in place for transient and resident aircraft and crews, including an on-site café and catering representative and a tailgate party for base and transient crews, with a hangar set up to view the game on wide-screen television.

“I like to think of the Super Bowl as a challenge starting with a baseline, and multiply times a thousand,” an Atlantic Aviation spokesman said.

The FBO began planning in mid-2019 by bringing in additional personnel from other Atlantic bases, she said. “We also have a large surface parking area, and we have plenty of available fuel.”

While the Super Bowl’s impact is expected to create a bit of organized chaos in the Miami area, there was no less a scramble to manage the uptick in demand in other parts of the country.

Charter operator Vegas Express Jets has been urging private charters from parts west to stop in Las Vegas en route, where passengers may place bets on their favorite team before continuing. An aircraft charter with the Las Vegas-based operator for a Super Bowl flight included “a complete Super Bowl package” with hotel, transfers, parties and seats for the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

Kirby Harrison

Kirby Harrison is a freelance writer for The Weekly of Business Aviation, Business & Commercial Aviation and others in the Informa publishing chain.