According to several published reports, concerns are growing that the US government shutdown could negatively impact travel and security preparations for next month’s Super Bowl in Atlanta.
The US government has been shut down since December 22, which short-circuited preparations for Air Traffic Control’s handling of increased Super Bowl traffic. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is the world’s busiest airport, and adding the increase from the Super Bowl requires more planning and more staff. The airport normally handles between 60,000 and 80,000 passengers a day, but will handle more than 100,000 on February 4, the day after the Super Bowl is played, according to SI.com.
“When we work on something as big as the Super Bowl — the biggest spectator event in the country — it takes us a lot of time to plan on extra airplanes and traffic,” National Air Traffic Control Association president Dan McCabe told NBC News. “We’re going to keep the event safe, but we want it to be an enjoyable event for everybody. It’s frustrating that I know it won’t be as good as it could be.”
Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms voiced similar telling CBS News: “Obviously, we are in uncharted territory with the shutdown that’s gone on this long, and we are preparing as best we can from our vantage point.”