It’s probably too late for the Shakopee site for a Minnesota Vikings stadium to get serious consideration in the ongoing battle over a new stadium for the team, but if it does, there’s likely one problem that the proposal may not be considering. Airplanes.
Here’s the site (courtesy of Shakopee Valley News)
But here’s what local pilots are going to notice…
If you take off in a small plane from Flying Cloud Airport’s Runway 18 (top) and you have an engine failure, you’re heading straight for the proposed site of the football stadium.
But it may not be a safety issue for people in the stadium, because current FAA rules could prevent the airport from operating the way it currently does during a football game.
Because of 9/11, the FAA banned aircraft from flying below 3,000 feet within 3 miles of any stadium. An exact distance is hard to pin down based on the charts provided, but the stadium is fairly close to the “no-fly” zone during NFL football games. Most pilots probably couldn’t fly during the games because the controlled airspace around the international airport lowers to 3,000 feet at the stadium site.
The east-west runways, on the other hand, are the most-often-used at Flying Cloud and it might be possible for pilots to get in an out of the airspace without disturbing its NFL neighbors.
It may well be that the two neighbors could co-exist and the challenges clarified and worked out, but the geography of the proposal also means that the stadium proposal is going to have security and airspace challenges — probably drawing the interest of the federal government — that other sites do not.have.