Checklist: Super Bowl Preparations
The FAA has released guidance for pilots and operators planning to attend Super Bowl LVI, scheduled for Feb. 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. NBAA has also provided guidance at https://nbaa.org/aircraft-operations/airspace/regional/super-bowl-lvi/
This year’s Super Bowl pits the Los Angeles Rams (12-5) against the Cincinnati Bengals (10-7). The Rams are the second team in a row to host a Super Bowl in their home stadium, which they share with the Los Angeles Chargers. Opened in September 2020, SoFi Stadium is the largest stadium in the National Football League, accommodating 70,000 or more people, with 260 luxury suites and 13,000 premium seats.
Last year’s championship game in Tampa, Florida, featured the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Attendance was limited to 25,000 fans because of COVID-19 protocols. The Buccaneers prevailed 31-9.
Anticipated Peak Air Traffic Volumes
Anticipated peak arrivals will be Wednesday, Feb. 9, through Saturday, Feb. 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time; and Sunday, Feb. 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.
Anticipated peak departures will be Sunday, Feb. 13, from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. local time; and Monday, Feb. 14, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.
A reservation program will be in effect for aircraft parking at the following Los Angeles-area airports from Feb. 6-14. Pilots should contact the FBO at their airport to obtain reservations and additional information.
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Van Nuys Airport (VNY)
- Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)
- Long Beach Airport (LGB)
- Hawthorne Municipal Airport (HHR)
- John Wayne Airport (SNA)
- Ontario International Airport (ONT)
- San Bernardino International Airport (SBD)
“All pilots/operators are strongly encouraged to contact their servicing FBO prior to departure, to ensure availability for both overnight parking and passenger pickup/drop-off.”
According to NBAA: “A reservation program to facilitate ground services in the LA Basin will be in effect from 0800z (12:00 a.m. PST) on Feb. 9, until 0800z on Feb. 15, 2022. Reservations are being accepted, and all operators are encouraged to make plans and reservations now. Each FBO has been given an allocation of slot times from their respective airport directors, but those slot times are running out quickly. Reservations must be obtained through your FBO of choice at the given airport.”
Special Air Traffic Procedures
Special air traffic procedures to minimize air traffic delays and enhance safety will be in effect for the following airports: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX); Van Nuys Airport (VNY); Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR); Long Beach Airport (LGB); Jack Northrup Field/Hawthorne Municipal Airport (HHR); John Wayne Airport (SNA); Ontario International Airport (ONT); San Bernardino International Airport (SBD); San Diego International Airport (SAN); Palm Springs International Airport (PSP); Las Vegas Harry Reid Airport (LAS); Henderson Executive Airport (HND); North Las Vegas Airport (VGT).
File flight plans at least six hours, but not more than 22 hours, prior to the proposed time of departure. This is required to ensure Traffic Management Initiatives (TMI) reflect authentic demand. If a TMI is necessary, filing early may minimize your assigned delay. Duplicate flight plans (same time/call sign) to the same airport or multiple airport destinations are subject to removal from the system and may result in increased delays.
Air Files/IFR Pick-Ups
Air files and IFR pick-ups will not be accepted from airborne flights to/from listed airports and/or in the associated NOTAMs, except for genuine emergencies.
VFR Arrivals And Potential Holding
VFR arrivals may expect lengthy delays and potential holding during peak traffic periods. VFR advisory service within the airspace of the Southern California TRACON, Joshua Control Facility and Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center will be on a workload-permitting basis.
Training flights and student solo cross-country flights are highly discouraged in the Los Angeles metro area (within 60 nm of LAX). Practice approaches, touch-and-go landings, and other training operations may be limited or suspended.
Temporary Flight Restriction
A game-day Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) will go into effect at 2:30 p.m. PST. It will cover a ring of 30 nm (34.5 miles), centered over the stadium and from the ground to 18,000 ft. in altitude. It will expire at 8:30 p.m. PST but may be extended if conditions warrant. Drones are also prohibited within the designated area. TFR Notices to Air Missions (NOTAM) are available at https://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html
The TFR will not affect regularly scheduled commercial flights at LAX. Emergency, medical, public safety and military operations may fly in the TFR while it is in place, in coordination with air traffic control.