Twin Cities airports prepare for heavy traffic around Super Bowl

- It's a busy week for MSP airport as air traffic control sees an influx of travelers and flights coming in for the Super Bowl.

It was a typical Monday at the Minneapolis air traffic control tower where workers manage departures and arrivals. But as Super Bowl Sunday nears, officials at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport are preparing for some of the busiest days of the year.
 
“One of our busiest peaks is our 6 p.m. time frame; it’ll be like that the majority of the day once we really hit that traffic period,” said Kurt Mara with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expecting that the four main airports in the Twin Cities will have 3,500 additional take-offs and landings between Thursday and Monday, with an additional 1,000 aircraft on the ground.

This means that MSP’s radar facility will see two to three times the normal amount of traffic.
 
“We have developed routes to separate this traffic on different flight paths in order that they will be able to provide a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of traffic in and out of the Minneapolis area,” Mara said.

The FAA is imposing temporary flight restrictions on game day that will cover a 30-mile ring around U.S. Bank Stadium. Drones will also be prohibited.

“For approximately seven hours on Sunday evening in conjunction with the TFR, there will be a no drone zone within 30 miles of Minneapolis, meaning no drones will be able to fly in that area on that evening,” Mara said.

MSP is increasing staff by 50 percent to deal with the influx of Minneapolis-bound flights which could arrive and leave in the evening at later hours.

“The residents will probably see something Sunday night, they’ll notice it. The part about it is that most of these aircraft are a lot quieter than the airliner traffic,” Mara said.

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