DALLAS – The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has outlined a special safety plan for Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 11.
Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) will see increased visitor flows in the coming days as the city hosts the NFL Super Bowl from February 7 to 11. Airlines have added frequencies to Vegas ahead of the event, which may seem like a rehash of the past since competing teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, competed in the National Football League’s championship just four years ago.
Demand for flights to Las Vegas will pick up in the middle of next week, and not just from scheduled commercial airlines. Celebrities, VIPs, and other fans will also jet into the city on privately operated flights and aircraft. Monday and Tuesday after the game will be the busiest at LAS.
The festivities mean that there is a need for heightened security at event venues, on transportation, at accommodation venues, and in the local area. With fans and spectators expected to flock to LAS from Kansas City and the Bay Area, several airlines have put on more flights to assist people wanting to attend the event.
Las Vegas Airports Operations
Las Vegas’ five airports can expect to see more take-offs and landings than usual from February 7 to 12. More planes will be parked at these airports during Super Bowl week. Passengers are advised to check out and arrive at their designated airport on time to enable things to run smoothly. They are also reminded to check in and reach security gates with plenty of time.
American Airlines (AA), Southwest Airlines (WN), and United Airlines (UA) have added extra flights from Kansas City International Airport (MCI) to LAS. AA has added five flights between MCI and LAS from February 8 to 12. United has reportedly added six roundtrip flights between MCI and LAS.
Southwest Airlines has also announced extra flights between MCI and LAS. Between February 8 and 13, the airline added 16 round-trip flights. Several of these flights take on a different meaning, with flight numbers referring to celebrity singer Taylor Swift and her new love interest, NFL player Travis Kelce.
San Francisco Flights
Several airlines operate regular scheduled services between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and MCI. American and Delta Air Lines (DL) added more nonstop flights during the Super Bowl weekend. UA, which has a hub at SFO, added two more flights: UA 1995 and UA 1849. These flight numbers commemorate special events in the 49ers history.
The first was when the team was crowned Super Bowl champions, and the second was the year when the gold miners traveled to Northern California. WN will put up to 68 nonstop flights out of the Bay area from February 8 to 10. It offers SFO, Oakland International Airport (OAK), and San José Mineta International Airport (SJC) flights. On February 12 and 13, it will operate up to 45 nonstop flights from LAS to the Bay area.
Note to Pilots
Pilots should anticipate a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in the Las Vegas area on Sunday, February 11, 2024. TFRs limit the availability of certain operations, including glider operations, flight training, and unmanned aerial system (UAS) operations. Training and student solo cross-country flights are highly discouraged in the Las Vegas metro area. Practice approaches, touch-and-go landings, and other training operations may be limited or suspended during this period.
A reservation program to facilitate ATC handling and ground services will be in effect at participating Nevada airports. Local Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) administer reservations. Pilots should contact the FBO at their intended Las Vegas destination for reservations and additional information.
Traffic Management Initiatives
Pilots should also expect Traffic Management Initiatives at LAS, including, but not limited to, rerouting, miles-in-trail, altitude restriction, ground stop, and Ground Delay Programs. When a Ground Delay Program (GDP) is in effect, aircraft must depart within five minutes of their assigned Expected Departure Clearance Time (EDCT). If unable, pilots must advise ATC and request a new EDCT assignment.
Traffic Management Initiatives are designed to provide equitable access to airports and airspace. Airborne destination changes to area airports will not be accepted except in emergencies to maintain program integrity and minimize delays.
Finally, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) arrivals may expect delays and potential holding during peak traffic. VFR advisory service within the airspace of Las Vegas TRACON (L30), Las Vegas Tower (LAS), Henderson Tower (HSH), North Las Vegas Tower (VGT), and Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZLA) will be on a workload-permitting basis.
Featured image: N8738K Southwest B737-8 at LAS. Photo: Jinyuan Liu/Airways