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Super Bowl expected to set aerial record – at Indy airports

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 04: A fan rides a zip line during the Super Bowl XLVI NFL Experience presented by GMC at the Indiana Convention Center on February 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The New England Patriots will play the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on February 5, 2011 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Is it another sign the economy is improving?

The number of private planes flying into Indianapolis for the Super Bowl Sunday is expected to be at an all-time high.

More than 1,000 aircraft have made parking reservations at various airports in the region as of Friday, according to Sean White, a member of the Super Bowl Host Committee’s General and Business Aviation Subcommittee.

If all those aircraft show up, it will be an increase of about 64 percent over the previous high of 611 aircraft that flew to Dallas last year to see the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” a Giant fan who flew into Indy on a chartered jet said of the welcome at a local airport. “The setup is amazing.”

While most of the aircraft are business jets like Gulfstreams, Cessna Citations or Learjets, there are a handful of private pilots flying to the game in single-engine piston aircraft.

Because Indianapolis International Airport has the only control tower within a 30-mile radius, the FAA set up temporary towers at three neighboring airports that went into operation on Feb. 1 and will remain active through Monday.