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If Swift makes it to Super Bowl, finding private jet parking could be tricky

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — If Taylor Swift is jetting from her upcoming Tokyo concert to Las Vegas to see boyfriend Travis Kelce play in the Super Bowl the next day, she'd better already have a place to park her plane.

Even the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., seems to be rooting for her.

Places to leave private aircraft at airports in and around Las Vegas have been spoken for, airport and Federal Aviation Administration officials said Thursday. Just over a week remains before the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers face off in the NFL championship game.

The four airports immediately around Las Vegas have about 475 parking spaces combined, said Heidi Hayes, a spokesperson for the Clark County Department of Aviation.

“Oh, they’re full,” said Rick Breitenfeldt, FAA spokesman for his sixth Super Bowl.

NOT THE FIRST TIME

Las Vegas-area airports also reached capacity for private planes during the inaugural Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix auto race in November, Hayes said.

Clark County handles Harry Reid International, one of the busiest passenger airports in the U.S., along with busy general aviation airports in suburban North Las Vegas and Henderson. Hayes also checked Boulder City Municipal Airport, about 24 miles (39 kilometers) east of Las Vegas.

Air traffic is expected to be heavy. Commercial airlines have added flights and the Las Vegas airport reported Wednesday it handled a record 57.6 million passengers in 2023. That's an average of nearly 160,000 people per day.

COULD SWIFT MAKE IT TO THE GAME?

The last of four scheduled Tokyo shows of Swift's Eras Tour is on Feb. 10. Due to time zone differences, if she flies out at midnight, it will be 7 a.m. Saturday in Las Vegas.

A spokesperson for Swift didn't respond Thursday to questions about whether Swift plans to attend the Super Bowl, has made travel arrangements, or where her pilots could park a plane.

Swift has more than one private jet, including a Dassault Falcon 900 that can typically seat at least 12 people and fly at up to 590 mph (950 kph). Scrutiny about her jet travel has drawn some criticism for greenhouse gas emissions.

Barring delays, if Swift's flight to Las Vegas takes 11 or 12 hours, she could arrive in Las Vegas the day before the game after crossing nine time zones and the international date line.

WHAT DOES JAPAN SAY?

The Japanese Embassy in Washington posted a brief social media statement Friday on official letterhead that managed to incorporate three Swift song titles - “Speak Now”, “Fearless” and “Red” — in a light-hearted acknowledgment of the attention Swift’s travel plans have drawn.

“If she departs Tokyo in the evening after her concert, she should comfortably arrive in Las Vegas before the Super Bowl begins,” it said.

Yuki Sugiyama, second secretary at the Embassy, confirmed to The Associated Press that he made the post on Instagram and X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. He said Swift’s travel arrangements were a private matter.

“The embassy has no comment on that part,” Sugiyama said.

WHY IS AIRCRAFT PARKING SO SCARCE?

There aren’t as many airports around Las Vegas as there are around Glendale, Arizona, where the Super Bowl was played last year. The WM Phoenix Open golf tournament also was played during Super Bowl week in 2023. Breitenfeldt at the FAA said all 1,100 aircraft parking pads in the Phoenix area were claimed.

The NFL doesn't handle aircraft reservations, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said, but it does coordinate with the FAA, National Business Aviation Association, host city airport authorities and commercial private aircraft service companies during Super Bowl events. McCarthy said the league doesn't comment on individual requests.

McCarthy noted that players and fans of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf league also will be in Las Vegas for a tournament on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Las Vegas Country Club before the football game Sunday at the 60,000-seat Allegiant Stadium.

CAN PLANES PARK ELSEWHERE?

There might still be slots available for what Hayes and Breitenfeldt termed “drop-and-go” flights. That's where pilots leave passengers and then fly to another airport to park.

Airports within 100 miles (161 kilometers) of Las Vegas include Mesquite Municipal Airport in Nevada and Laughlin-Bullhead International Airport in Arizona. Jean Sport Aviation Center, an airstrip visible from Interstate 15 that has no control tower, lies south of Las Vegas.

The closest large California airports are Ontario International, San Bernardino International, Palm Springs International and Palmdale Regional, which are each less than 200 miles (322 kilometers) away.

Los Angeles International, John Wayne International near Santa Ana, Long Beach International and Hollywood/Burbank airports are each within 250 miles (402 kilometers) from Las Vegas. Phoenix is about 255 miles (410 kilometers).

WHAT DOES IT COST TO PARK?

It might be cheaper for aircraft owners to park a multi-million dollar jet for the Super Bowl than an automobile owner attending the game, where seat tickets were selling at upwards of $8,000 apiece.

Hayes said aircraft parking fees during Super Bowl weekend at Harry Reid International were unchanged from the standard rate. That's $20 to $150 a day, depending on the size of the plane.

Meanwhile, just one MGM Resorts International casino near the stadium, Mandalay Bay, was still offering game day garage parking reservations on Thursday, at $100. The company's nearby Luxor and Excalibur had nothing available.