MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Inside Holman Field’s historic terminal in downtown St. Paul, work crews are frantically putting on finishing touches.
They are completing an extensive remodel of a new restaurant, preparing for its grand opening in time for Super Bowl travelers.
MAC commissioners were briefed Monday on how prepared the airports are, 48 days away from the Big Game.
In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is expecting the arrivals of some 50,000 commercial airline passengers.
Scheduling arrivals and departures for an additional 1,100 private jets is an even larger challenge, partly because MSP can only accommodate the parking for 275 private aircraft.
“To accommodate 275 private jets we have to close down one of our runways,” MAC director of operations Phil Burke told commissioners at a meeting Monday.
The majority of private aircraft will use ramp space at Flying Cloud airport in Eden Prairie, St. Paul’s Holman Field and Anoka County airport in Blaine.
As for foot traffic, the NFL predicts 65,000 passengers will pass through security checkpoints as they depart Minnesota on Monday, Feb. 5. That’s nearly 18,000 more than MSP’s busiest day on record.
“You can just imagine all those people going through screeners at the airport,” Burke said.
That’s why the Transportation Security Administration is bringing in extra staff from across the country to bolster the checkpoints.
MSP Airport police will have their own full force of uniformed, plain clothes, canine and tactical officers for a constant presence.
“At a minimum, I want them to see and hopefully have a positive contact with one of our officers, that’s my ultimate goal,” MAC police chief Mike Everson said.
Those tactical teams will assist security details for dignitaries and heads of state, but not provide it for visiting celebrities.
The airports alone are staffing 1671 volunteers to assist all passengers Super Bowl week.