HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – On Super Bowl Sunday, the FAA is going to establish a temporary flight restriction or TFR over Hard Rock Stadium, where the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs will be playing one of the most-watched sports events of the year.
Using fighter aircraft and aircrews, The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD will enforce that TFR during the big game.
NORAD is giving the media the opportunity Tuesday to go onboard one of the planes, a KC-135, to see an inflight refueling.
“When NORAD aircraft have to do longer duration missions it is vital and important that they that have the ability to refuel in the air, it gives us the opportunity to stay in the air longer,” explained U.S. Air Force Major Andrew Scott.
The goal of Tuesday’s operation is to inform the public that we will have aircraft around and defending the airspace,” said Major Scott. “You watch the game and we will watch the skies.”
NORAD is responsible for detecting, deterring, defending and if necessary, defeating any aviation threat to the United States and Canada. NORAD’s support to the Super Bowl has occurred annually since 2002.
“We want to always prevent another 2001, 911. That is the ultimate, that was the benchmark for something to that magnitude happening and too late for us to respond,” said Lt. Col. Alex Edwards with the Florida Air National Guard.
Edwards flies an F-15 for the Florida Air National Guard. He’s part of the squad that will be enforcing no-fly zones around the stadium during the Super Bowl.
“The ultimate goal is for protecting skies, security for the personnel on the ground, especially those fans and spectators that will be here for the Super Bowl,” said Edwards.
Those F-15s don’t even have to land. If they have a lot going on, they can refuel in the air.
“I’m down here in what we call the “boom pod.” This is where the magic happens,” says Staff Sgt. Briana Lindquist with the TN Air National Guard.
Lindquist lays in the back of the plane.
She is the one who re-fuels aircraft as they patrol over the stadium or anywhere fans are out having fun.
With in-flight refueling we are providing basically just longevity when it comes to fighter-type aircraft. So that they can be up in the air flying the whole time and not having to leave the area and come back to get more gas,” said Lindquist.
Also in the air, Black Hawk helicopters from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They too will be looking for aircraft or drones that are flying where they shouldn’t. They’re also patrolling the waterways.
“We provide persistent surveillance. We have camera equipment on board this aircraft and others like it. They have the ability to broadcast near real-time images to the command centers on the ground so that decisionmakers can deter, detect or investigate anything they see that’s suspicious, either on the ground or on the water,” said agent Todd Gayle with Customs and Border Protection.