Cog Logo
Special Events
Special Events

Being home to four professional sports teams and a major National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) track, North Central Texas has several facilities capable of hosting a variety of large special events. Out-of-region visitors will consistently pour into the area with each major sporting and entertainment event planned for these venues, providing a boost to the region’s economy. As the region’s surface and air transportation infrastructure becomes congested with this influx of people, the General Aviation (GA) System becomes an even more critical regional component. To help ensure the overall success of an event, the GA system of airports must be ready to maximize their role by following best practices guidelines established in the North Central Texas General Aviation and Heliport System Plan (System Plan).

Special Events

Most airports in North Central Texas are experiencing increased air traffic related to large events. To illustrate the important role GA plays during special events, aviation consultant firm SH&E estimated that Super Bowl XLV held in Arlington in February 2011 would result in 4,000 attendees arriving on 1,000 GA aircraft. Moreover, Arlington Municipal Airport (GKY) has reported an increase of four times the amount of GA traffic for a concert and a consistent, substantial increase in activity during Cowboys games.

In order to successfully fill the need for GA capacity during a large special event, airport sponsors/owners should be included in the pre-event planning, often beginning one to two years in advance of the activity itself. Basic planning steps that should be followed are:

Special Events
  • Review the scope of the event, including the venues
  • Identify planning partners
  • Identify number and type of attendees to determine aviation demand
  • Identify aviation service area(s) and the capacities and services of their facilities
  • Allocate the anticipated aircraft to facilities within the service area(s)
  • Coordinate with appropriate agencies regarding airport operations
  • Develop an event operations guidebook

Working together with other transportation providers, a GA airport that is accessible to the event venue will see a significant shift in activity on event day. Planning for special surface transportation (taxi or shuttle service), aircraft parking and security adjustments, changes in airport (and airport tower) hours of operation and additional staffing needs before, during and after the event is critical. Continued evaluation of these events, focusing on ways to improve the overall experience of the visitor, will ensure on-going success. A pleasant experience by the special event visitor results in potential repeat visits and business for the GA airport and the region as a whole; thereby encouraging the economic growth that naturally comes from hosting large events.

North Central Texas Council of Governments | 616 Six Flags Drive P.O. Box 5888 Arlington, TX 76005-5888
Main Operator: (817) 640-3300 | Fax: (817) 640-7806