MINNEAPOLIS – MSP International Airport expects to shatter previous passenger records during the Super Bowl. Not before the big game, but after.
Between 65,000 and 70,000 people are expected to fly out of MSP the Monday after the Super Bowl.
That's roughly 20,000 more people than have ever before flown out of MSP on a single day.
“If you're a local, if you can avoid the airport that week, especially Monday and Tuesday, I'd highly recommend it,” said Phil Burke, director of MSP operations.
Burke is overseeing 29 committees tasked with various aspects of Super Bowl air transportation.
One of the most important is private planes, of which roughly 1,100 are expected. Those landings will be spread mainly between MSP, Flying Cloud Airport, Anoka-Blaine Airport and St. Paul Downtown Airport.
“We're expecting between 200, 225 aircraft on the ground during the peak period,” Harris said. Those numbers represent a fivefold increase over a typical home Vikings game.
St. Paul Downtown Airport will repurpose as airplane parking, two of its three runways. MSP will do the same for one of its runways.
“I was around during the RNC and PGA events and other things but nothing will rival the super bowl,” Harris said.
At MSP a small army of volunteers will be deployed before and after the game to assist out-of-towners.
“This is their first impression, their last impression, and we want to make a good one,” Burke said.