San Francisco 49ers Stadium, A Danger To Pilots?

San Francisco 49ers stadium
image: wikimedia commons

Can a sports stadium be dangerous to pilots trying to land their planes?

This might just be the case for planes trying to land at San Jose Mineta Airport thanks to the new San Francisco 49ers stadium- Levi’s Stadium (now in use for its second season).

What might cause a sports stadium to interfere with a plane?

Could it be the noise? The crowds? Of course not!

The stadium’s lights have been reported to blind pilots due to it sitting “right in the flight path of runway 30-L” according to NBC News.

Reports have been filed by pilots with the FAA on at least 5-6 occassions due to this issue. Due to this, “NASA sent two different safety alert bulletins to the FAA, San Jose Mineta International Airport and Santa Clara’s Stadium Authority about the problem“.

Some of the pilot complaints include the scoreboard lights being too bright and a sign on top of the stadium which might be mistaken for a runway in bad weather.

It’s scary to think that a stadium could cause this kind of issue and hopefully something is done to reduce the brightness let off by the stadium.

When I first read about this story, I wondered if a similar issue was ever caused by the current or former home of the New York Mets which is just a few miles away from LaGuardia Airport.

Find out more about the pilots being blinded by the lights of Levi’s Stadium here.

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