Flight Restrictions Support Security Activities

The Federal Aviation Administration will establish airspace restrictions over State Farm Stadium beginning next week to support Super Bowl LVII security activities. The Notice to Air Mission (NOTAM) contains information essential to persons concerned with crewed and uncrewed flight operations.

The NOTAMS will depict a 99.7 “Special Security Instruction” Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR). There will essentially be four different TFRs in effect at various times during Super Bowl 57 activities:

  • Super Bowl Activities in the Vicinity of Downtown Phoenix

UAS-specific TFR from 0600 to 2400 MST, February 9th to 12th.

  • Pre-Game Activity in the Vicinity of State Farm Stadium

UAS-specific one nautical mile (NM) radius, 3,000′ above ground level (AGL) TFR around State Farm Stadium from 1100 to 1530 MST.

  • 10 NM Radius Inner Ring and 10 NM to 30 NM Radius Outer Ring

From 1530 to 2030 MST on February 12th, there will be various aircraft flight prohibitions and restrictions in effect during this timeframe in support of Super Bowl 57 security operations. Aircraft operators should check NOTAMs often for airspace restrictions prior to operations within the region.

UAS Activity Restrictions

The NOTAM ahead of activities serves as a warning to UAS operators who do not comply with applicable airspace restrictions that the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Defense (DOD) may take security action that results in the interference, disruption, seizure, damaging, or destruction of uncrewed aircraft deemed to pose a credible safety or security threat to protected personnel, facilities, or assets.

Any person who knowingly and willingly violates these restrictions may be subject to certain criminal and/or civil penalties. Pilots who violate security TFRs or procedures may be intercepted, detained, and interviewed by Law Enforcement/Security personnel. They may also be subject to criminal and civil actions.

Incursions Are A Safety and Security Issue

Stadium incursions continue to be a safety and security issue for organizations in the U.S., such as the NCAA, NFL, NASCAR, and MLB. Gates and guards are no longer sufficient to protect mass gatherings and high-profile public venues. Physical security measures must now include airspace awareness and protection activities to account for airborne threats.

In 2022, the Biden Administration released The Domestic Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems National Action Plan to expand Counter-UAS authorities and capabilities to enhance homeland security. Lawmakers were unable to move any legislation forward. In late December, President Biden signed a government spending bill that continued existing Counter-UAS authorities for DHS and DOJ until September 30, 2023.

More information on FAA flight restrictions during Super Bowl 57 can be found here.