Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

No-fly rule expands as game time nears for Super Bowl

A small plane pulling a banner (not pictured) flies near Raymond James Stadium Wednesday. Federal, state, and local agencies will enforce flight restrictions for the Super Bowl.


A small plane pulling a banner (not pictured) flies near Raymond James Stadium Wednesday. Federal, state, and local agencies will enforce flight restrictions for the Super Bowl.

TAMPA — Don't fly. Don't hang glide. Don't parachute. Keep your ultralight in the hangar. Don't decide at the last minute to tow a banner in the airspace over Raymond James Stadium or even set off model rockets.

That's the word from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Tampa police and the Air Force come Super Bowl Sunday.

Anyone who decides to ignore those rules will have, in the words of Scot Winslow of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, "a really bad day."

Air Force fighter jets and border protection helicopters will patrol the airspace all day to intercept any unauthorized craft.

Flights up to 4,000 feet will be restricted within a mile of Raymond James Stadium from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, expanding to up to 18,000 feet in a 30-mile radius between 4 p.m. until midnight.

The rules will require even blimps to be grounded starting at 4 p.m., said Juan Munoz-Torres, public affairs officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

On Wednesday, to prove the point, Customs and Border Protection took media members flying over Tampa and circled above the empty open cup of Raymond James Stadium.

Outside the windows of the noisy helicopter cabin, a small plane flew directly above the stadium, tugging an advertising banner for ""

In the distance, a DirectTV blimp hovered over the Lego-like towers of downtown.

Not far from the stadium, at Tampa International Airport, a Southwest Airlines plane rolled down the runway.

Winslow conceded the proximity of the airport presented a planning dilemma, but after two years of planning, they've run and planned for every possible security threat scenario, he said.

Tampa International Airport's east-west runway will be closed.

"Air space is an integral part of our security plan," said Tampa police Maj. John Bennett, who has coordinated the expansive inter-agency Super Bowl security plan for the past two years.

The guidelines don't apply to public safety or air ambulance craft, military aircraft, regularly scheduled commercial passenger flights or Transportation Security Administration-approved cargo carriers.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3383.

No-fly rule expands as game time nears for Super Bowl 01/28/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 12:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
 file photo]

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended


    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  4. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  5. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.