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Football pre-season kickoff reminds pilots to avoid large public gatheringsFootball pre-season kickoff reminds pilots to avoid large public gatherings

Football pre-season kickoff reminds pilots to avoid large public gatherings

Where does the time go? It is still hotter than a turbocharged engine in a maximum-performance climb out of ABQ in many parts of the country, but the nation's favorite autumnal sport kicks off in less than a week.

That's right, the first NFL pre-season games begin next week, and with that comes a reminder about the stadium TFR - you're not supposed to fly below 3,000 feet agl within 3 nautical miles of any stadium having a seating capacity of 30,000 or more people in which a "major league baseball, national football league, NCAA Division One football, or major motor speedway event is occurring." Of course, Major League Baseball and auto racing events are in full swing right now, and college football begins next month.

Where are all of those stadia? Well, that's were AOPA gives you a lot more help than the government. We've compiled a handy list of every major stadium in the United States, including their GPS coordinates so you can program them into your magic box for an extra measure of security. We also give you links to the sports schedules, so you know when the games are being played.

But there are a couple of caveats.

First, the notam actually doesn't apply to pre-season NFL games. AOPA just reconfirmed that surprising item with the FAA. But in these security-conscious times (and with public concern about little airplanes approaching paranoia) let's all, for the sake of good public relations for general aviation, avoid flying over even the pre-season games.

The other caveat is that you can fly closer to any major stadium if you are in the process of landing or taking off from an airport that's near the three-mile limit. AOPA lobbied hard to get that into the law and the subsequent notam. But again, please don't abuse that exception and fly close to large crowds. That would only hurt all of us.

August 3, 2005

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