High-Density Air Traffic Events

In preparation for high-profile events, such as the Super Bowl, the PlaneSense® team begins planning well in advance to ensure as smooth a service experience as possible. For this year’s Super Bowl, Flight Operations Center personnel began researching the New Orleans area in early December to determine which surrounding airports would best suit the travel needs of owners flying to or from New Orleans around Super Bowl time. Many of the local airports were operating under time restrictions and required slot reservations. The following steps are standard protocol for the Flight Operations Center during such aforementioned high-density air traffic events.

• Check for any Temporary Flight Restrictions (“TFR”- Airspace Restrictions imposed by the FAA)
- Temporary Flight Restrictions are put in place to protect the area directly over a large crowd or VIP
- During an event, certain airports can be completely unavailable to arriving or departing traffic if they fall within this predetermined airspace

• Request arrival and departure slots (reservations)
- FAA or airport issued reservations are common in order to control traffic volume and time
- High demand and limited availability can create an acquisition challenge

• Arrange for aircraft parking availability
- Sheer volume of aircraft can sometimes prevent an airport/FBO from letting an aircraft stay on the ramp or parking apron for an extended period of time

• Plan for alternate airport options
- If slots, parking or TFRs prevent the use of the primary airport requested, we will work to locate the next best option for the traveler(s)
- Smaller, local ‘reliever’ airports sometimes are also nearby but will not see the volume of the larger metropolitan airports

• Assess any additional fees
- Parking, fueling, FBO services, etc. fees generally tend to increase substantially with the increase in traffic

• Review available FBO Services
- Fuel (availability, types, and cost)
- Passenger catering - De-Icing (location dependent)
- Hangar space, which is usually used to offset de-icing

• Stage Backup Aircraft & Crews Nearby
- Stage aircraft nearby to recover from any weather or mechanical surprises
- Crews flown in will often be used for a crew swap during the game to provide a fresh duty period

• Monitor possible ATC Delays (Long delays expected post event)

Note: This article is displaying as it appeared in Volume 11 of our PlaneSense: Informational Quarterly newsletter.

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