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Border Patrol Black Hawks to Enforce Super Bowl No-Fly Zone, Intercept Unauthorized Aircraft

By Craig Bannister | January 29, 2019 | 12:40pm EST
CBP air interdiction agent patrols the sky in UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter (Source: U.S. CBP; Photo by Josh Denmark)

U.S. Border Patrol agents will take to the Atlanta, Georgia airways on Super Bowl Sunday to enforce the FAA’s Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) order establishing a 30-mile radius no-fly zone around the event.

From 3 P.M. to midnight on February 3, 2019, border patrol crews will be deployed in Black Hawk helicopters around Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports:

“On game day, CBP Black Hawk crews will assist Department of Defense [DoD] aircraft in detecting, tracking, and coordinating the interdiction of aircraft violating the TFR. If any aircraft violate that air space, CBP will intercept and determine if further enforcement is needed.”

“Unmanned aircraft, to include drones, will not be allowed to operate anywhere within the TFR unless prior authorization has been granted by the FAA,” CBP says.

The CBP Black Hawk crews will also help DoD enforce a smaller, more tightly-restricted 10-mile zone within the broader 30-mile radius around the stadium:

“The TFR will implement restricted airspace within a 30-mile radius around the stadium throughout the timeframe, allowing only authorized aircraft to enter, such as military, law enforcement, medevac, and aircraft on an active flight plan and in contact with Air Traffic Control.

“Within that area, a smaller, more restrictive zone will only allow essential aircraft with prior approval to operate within a ten mile radius around Mercedes-Benz Stadium.”

Black Hawk aircraft are twin-engined military transport and air assault helicopters, Military.com reports:

“The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is the U.S. Army’s primary medium lift utility transport and air assault aircraft. The UH-60 Black Hawk is a twin-engined medium lift utility helicopter. It is equipped with a single 4-bladed rotor and a single 4-bladed tail rotor.”

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