Danbury and Bridgeport are the two Connecticut airports that may see increased traffic before and after the 2014 Superbowl being played at the Meadowlands stadium.
The 2014 NYNJ Superbowl Host Committee made a presentation to the FAA and to local airport administrators Thursday to explain what to expect.
At Indianapolis in 2012, 650 airplanes arrived, but planners are saying that figure will increase by another hundred planes up to 750 for a New York Super Bowl. In the New York area, the issue is more complicated than it was in Indiana, because the 750 planes will arrive at more crowded airports via more crowded airspace.
"They'll need to put these airplanes somewhere," said Danbury Municipal Airport Administrator Paul Estefan. "Right now the planning is early, but they know already they can't use the big three airports for all of these planes."
Newark Liberty, Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia have rules that say only two general aviation airplanes can land at the airport per hour. That means on Super Bowl Sunday, all three airports can only handle 144 private airplanes. If people arrive a day early, they can handle 288 airplanes, meaning an estimated 462 planes need to land somewhere else.
"They have to use the smaller airports," Estefan said. "They're considering Danbury, because it's about 80 miles from the stadium with good highways, 84 and 684."
At the committee meeting, the Super Bowl is estimated to generate $550 million during the week. While it is a one-day game, the economic impact is spread out over a week. The game itself is played at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. It is hosted by both the Giants and the Jets. It is hosted by both New York and New Jersey, and it will be the first Super Bowl played in the Northeast, and the first outdoor cold weather Super Bowl.
"We're one of the few general aviation airports with plenty of space to handle fly-ins," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "We've got hotels and highways."
Right now, the planning committee is trying to put together a list of attributes and capabilities that each airport has, so they can answer questions when people start talking about flying in. Because the game is played on Feb. 2, snow can be a limiting factor on how many planes can park at an airport.