With SuperBowl LVIII taking place in Las Vegas this weekend, the city is bracing itself for a record number of private jets.
The US Federal Aviation Authority has confirmed that it expects 3,500 additional take-offs and landings from Februay 7 to February 12, with a significant amount of these being from private jets.
According to the FAA’s predictions, there will be 500 private jets parked in local airports, ready to ferry wealthy travellers to and from the Super Bowl game in style.
Even more are expected to fly in and fly out without parking, to avoid the scramble for jet parking spaces in Las Vegas’ three major executive jet airports — Harry Reid, North Las Vegas and Henderson.
The congestion will be compounded by the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf holding its first Sin City tournament at Las Vegas Country Club in the run-up to the Super Bowl. It is scheduled to finish Saturday.
It is thought that as many as 1,000 private jets will pass through Las Vegas, as the San Francisco 49ers take on defending champions Kansas City Chiefs in the Allegiant Stadium.
WingX, a business aviation tracker, predicts figures based on previous analysis of business plane arrivals for other Super Bowl events and for the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
They reported 931 business jet departures the day after the 2023 Super Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona, which was up on 592 after the 2022 Super Super Bowl.
On an average day in February, daily private jet departures out of Phoenix number 190, suggesting that the sporting event brought five times as much jet traffic as usual.
A spokesperson for WingX said: “2023 set the record in terms of total outbound departures following a Super Bowl. So with it happening in Las Vegas coming, which is already a top bizjet hub, we would expect a very large post-event bizjet activity after this weekend.
“We’re seeing a fairly buoyant US demand for private jets in 2024. It’s not at the same highs we saw 24 months ago, but still up 10 per cent on pre-pandemic levels.”
All of these private jet flight brings an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Benjamin Leffel, an assistant professor of public policy sustainability at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas told The New York Times: “The emissions levels of a mega-event like this from air traffic, and the energy use is at least double in a day than it would be on average.”
It’s not yet known whether Taylor Swift will take a private jet to watch Travis Kelce play for the Chiefs. Nor do we know how the artists providing the half-time entertainment — Usher and Justin Bieber – will travel to the stadium.
But in response to the influx of private planes flying into the area, the FAA has upped measures to ensure the safety of the airspace and those travelling in and out.
The FAA said: “General aviation pilots flying near Las Vegas from Feb. 7-12, 2024, must be aware of temporary flight restrictions, follow special air traffic procedures and comply with additional operational requirements that will be in effect for Super Bowl LVIII.
“We expect around 3,500 additional takeoffs and landings and about 500 aircraft will be parked at local airports during Super Bowl week.
“Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas is a ‘No Drone Zone’ for Super Bowl LVIII. Drones are also prohibited around several additional locations during the days leading up to the event. Drone operators who enter the TFRs without permission could face drone confiscation, fines that exceed $30,000 and potential criminal prosecution.”