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5 Answers

Stadium TFRs

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Airspace, FAA Regulations

Do stadium TFR restrictions still apply if you are communicating with ATC?

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5 Answers

  1. Kris Kortokrax on Oct 22, 2011

    Google NOTAM 9/5151.  It exempts aircraft in contact with ATC for operational or safety of flight purposes, Department of Defense, Law Enforcement and Air Ambulance flight operations.  The operational purposes would have to do with the event, i.e. blimp with a camera on board.  In other words, you can’t simply contact ATC and get permission to fly in the TFR.  That would require a waiver from TSA as detailed in the NOTAM text.
    Interesting thing about the NOTAM, pre-season games are not included.  Also, as far as NASCAR is concerned, only the Sprint Cup race is covered.  In the Chicago area, you can’t fly over the Sunday race, but feel free to fly over the Saturday race.  Same fans, same cars, same everything.  This NOTAM should be rescinded.  It makes no sense.  I can’t fly over Cellular Field or Wrigley Field with 30,000 fans, yet I can fly over the city of Chicago with millions of people.

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  2. Brent on Oct 23, 2011

    I have a different intrepration. The clause “IN CONTACT WITH ATC FOR OPERATIONAL OR SAFETY OF FLIGHT PURPOSES” is separate from the part about getting a waiver for operational reasons related to the event.
    For example, if you look at KAHN, you’ll see that Standford stadium, where the University of Georgia plays, is less than two miles from the approach end of runway 9. (You’ll have to check Google maps, the stadium is not marked on the sectional.) I think if the tower were to clear you for a straight in approach to runway 9, then it would be ok to fly into the TFR airspace. Whether or not the tower would do that, operationally speaking, is another question, I suppose.

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  3. Kris Kortokrax on Oct 24, 2011

    I spoke with a controller at Athens tower (KAHN) today.  It is correct to say that they can allow you to fly through a stadium TFR surrounding the Standford stadium.  However, that capability only extends to a stadium TFR that is contained within the airspace that they control.
    I.e., Midway approach cannot clear one to fly throught a stadium TFR for Cellular Field or Soldier Field.  O’Hare approach cannot clear one to fly through a stadium TFR for Wrigley Field.  Chicago TRACON cannot clear one to fly through a stadium TFR for the NASCAR race at Chicagoland Speedway.

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  4. Koehn on Oct 25, 2011

    Kris’ answer correlates with my experience. I’ve been vectored through stadium TFRs while VFR in the Minneapolis KMSP class bravo airspace.

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  5. Jason Cabot on Feb 04, 2014

    If you really want to get this changed, post comments with the FAA.

    Go here and click “comment now” at the upper right hand.


    Also, there is a big difference between “in contact with” ATC and “authorized by” ATC. If you are receiving flight following, you may be “in contact with” ATC, but unless ATC has given you vectors or specified that you can ignore or traverse the TFR, you haven’t been “authorized by” ATC to bust the TFR.

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