Fighter jets will be on the lookout during Super Bowl LVII in Glendale

Feb 8, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 8:52 am

(KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)...

(KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)

(KTAR News Photo/Colton Krolak)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – On Sunday, while millions will be watching Super Bowl LVII, there will be fighter jets watching the Arizona skies.

Erik Amend with the Federal Aviation Administration said there will be increased flight restrictions as well as a “No Drone Zone” before, during and after the Super Bowl at State Farm Stadium.

“Unauthorized pilots and drone operators who enter the flight restricted areas could face civil penalties that exceed $30,000 and face potential criminal prosecution,” Amend said during a media day at Luke Air Force Base.

Jets will already be in the air when the game kicks off, patrolling and responding to anyone approaching restricted air space. Maj. Robert Barlow with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) spoke to KTAR News about what would happen should there be a “target of interest” who was getting close to the no fly zone and wasn’t responding to multiple attempts to reach them.

“Once that is not effective, what that civilian aircraft could expect is for some type of fighter aircraft to intercept them on their left or right wing,” Barlow said.

The jet would rock its wings back and forth to get the pilot’s attention, and with luck, the civilian aircraft would respond with the same motion and follow the jet out of the area.

Barlow said the whole process happens quickly.

“It could be a matter of minutes, from the time you’re up there just flying along, having a good time not talking to anybody, and then boom, there’s an F-16 or an F-15 on your wing saying ‘Hey, come and follow me,’” Barlow said.

And if all else fails, Barlow said any decision to shoot down an aircraft would involve the highest levels of government and steps would be taken to avoid collateral damage, if at all possible.

More information regarding FAA restrictions and other Super Bowl safety notes are posted online.

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Fighter jets will be on the lookout during Super Bowl LVII in Glendale