San Francisco

FAA Restricting Air Space in Bay Area, Expects 1,200 Planes for Super Bowl 50

Bay Area airports are gearing up for possible gridlock in the sky during Super Bowl 50 weekend.

The National Football League's biggest game is expected to draw a steady stream of air traffic leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, which will be held at Levi's Stadium. In response the Federal Aviation Administration -- which started planning for the big game more than a year ago -- will restrict air space on the days before and after Super Bowl 50.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said up to 1,200 additional general aviation aircrafts will be flying into Bay Area airports for the Super Bowl.

To control the crush of private planes, the FAA is making private planes register in advance in order to fly in and out of most Bay Area airports.

The airports requiring registration are San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Hayward, Livermore, San Carlos, Palo Alto, Moffett Field, Reid-Hillview, Napa, Concord, Monterey, Stockton, Santa Rosa, Watsonville and Salinas.

Dedicated routes for aircrafts will also be assigned, Gregor said.

"To fly in the airspace from 10 miles to 32 miles outside the stadium when restrictions are in effect, pilots have to fill flight plans, be in two-way communications with air traffic controllers," Gregor said.

The FAA is also restricting airspace above Levi's Stadium on game day for safety.

Some local pilots said the restrictions go to far.

"There are going to be a lot of mad pilots that won't be able to do their little touch-and-gos, here-and-theres at the airports," pilot Ed Gaede said.

Super Bowl 50 is scheduled to be played on Feb. 7.

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