Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

San Diego Flight Plan a Model for 2005; Game Traffic Twice Capacity of JIA

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

San Diego Flight Plan a Model for 2005; Game Traffic Twice Capacity of JIA

Article excerpt

Byline: David DeCamp, Times-Union staff writer

SAN DIEGO -- Bleary-eyed Super Bowl travelers arrived early at San Diego's airport yesterday, trying to avoid potential delays in catching flights out of town.

Few problems were reported getting through airport security, something Jacksonville organizers hope happens when the city hosts the Super Bowl in 2005.

The day after Jacksonville's Super Bowl -- Feb. 7, 2005 -- 40,000 people will leave the city through Jacksonville International Airport. That's double JIA's current capacity and twice as much as Thanksgiving or Christmas travel, said Chip Snowden, operations director for JIA. Snowden has to help figure out how to keep the airport from gumming up.

"We have to put a lot more work into it, because we're a little bit smaller, which requires more planning and execution," Snowden said during a weekend visit to San Diego to watch how that city put on its third Super Bowl.

Yesterday gave Snowden, who is helping design aviation plans for 2005, a chance to see what to expect. San Diego International Airport and three municipal airports bore the burden of aircraft and ticket holders. Super Bowl visitors arrived to find long X-ray lines early, because many checked in two hours before their flight times to avoid delays, airport workers and visitors said. But the lines moved steadily as the morning wore on. The first flights normally begin to leave at 6:30 a.m.

"We're OK, because we've got an 8 a.m. flight," said Super Bowl visitor Marietta Schneider of Houston, who arrived about 6 a.m. with her husband, Hank, for their return flight. "All of our arrangements were made for us. Evidently, they knew something."

San Diego International Airport has a 25 percent increase in passengers because of the Super Bowl, said Jose Hernandez, manager of ground transportation. The Southern California city's game ended Sunday about 7 p.m. local time, which provided several extra hours to fly people out after the game Sunday. San Diego has an 11 p.m. curfew on flights to control noise.

Jacksonville will not have that extra evening time after the game. …

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