Super Bowl security on High Alert, Radiation Sweeps Conducted, UH-60 Black Hawks Deployed

Police state forms amidst Super Bowl madness.

HOUSTON, Tex.  — This year’s Super Bowl LI will be nothing less than as business owners, ticket holders, players, performers, staff, and security workers will all end up stuffing NRG Stadium in anticipation of a dynamic showdown on the field between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons on what should be one blustering party this Sunday.

Security will be at an all-time high in and around the city and ambient radiation sweeps have been conducted.

Customs and Border Protection will have three Black Hawks prepared to intercept unauthorized planes if they fly into restricted areas. Also assisting in the agency’s gameday security efforts are three Cessna C-550 Citation jets and two Airbus AS350 helicopters. The government agency took reporters and photographers on a ride Thursday afternoon to showcase the Black Hawks and discuss its security efforts.

From 4 p.m. to midnight Sunday, air travel will be restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration in a 30-mile radius around NRG Stadium. To fly in the perimeter of this area, pilots need to be in contact with air traffic control. The core, 10-mile radius around NRG Stadium is a stricter no-fly zone. Very few aircraft will be allowed in this area. They include planes with scheduled airlines, military aircraft, air ambulances and law enforcement aircraft. Usually, pilots that fly into the restricted areas aren’t malicious. They’re simply taking a joy ride on a nice day, said David Grantham, a pilot with Air and Marine Operations, a component of Customs and Border Protection.

“All but just a minor handful are honest pilots making mistakes,” he said.

Being intercepted by a Black Hawk isn’t the first tactic to reach these pilots. Unauthorized pilots in the restricted area will be radioed first. If they don’t respond, then an aircraft will ultimately go and signal them. The North American Aerospace Defense Command also will have fighter jets and tanker aircraft to fuel those jets on alert if a plane needs to be intercepted on Super Bowl Sunday.

“Any time you have large crowds, there’s a potential there for criminal activity,” Grantham said. “We have a multitude of law enforcement agencies, so we will work together to improve our mutual capabilities.”


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