Taylor Swift needs to get from Tokyo to Las Vegas this weekend.
Chances are she’ll be using a private jet to get from Japan’s capital — where she is performing Saturday night — to Sin City, where boyfriend Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs are playing the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday afternoon.
The pop superstar certainly won’t be the only person using that mode of transportation to get to an event that attracts people of great importance, fame and wealth.
So where are all of those planes going to park?
Hopefully Swift or whomever makes such arrangements for her thought of that well in advance because Vegas is completely booked this weekend when it comes to parking spots for private jets.
(A representative for Swift did not immediately respond to The Times regarding the singer’s travel plans.)
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that it expects 3,500 more takeoffs and landings than usual at local airports — including Harry Reid International, Henderson Executive, North Las Vegas and Boulder City — this weekend, with about 500 aircraft being parked at those locations.
The math there would seem to indicate a bit of a supply-and-demand issue.
“This is the first Super Bowl in Las Vegas,” Joe Rajchel, a spokesperson for the Clark County Department of Aviation, told The Times on Thursday. “You would expect demand to be high and it has been a high-demand weekend. People want to be here — whether or not they’re going to the game, I think people just want to be in the city and be around the activity.”
The FAA has a slot reservation system in place for parking and airspace at those airports from Feb. 6-13 to help regulate the anticipated high volume of air traffic.
Reservations for parking planes at the airports are handled by fixed-base operators. Clark County serves as the fixed-base operator for the Henderson and North Las Vegas airports, and Rajchel said the slots at those locations will be full all weekend.
Two private companies — Signature Aviation and Atlantic Aviation — handle those operations for Harry Reid International. A statement on Signature’s website says that parking at that airport has “reached capacity for the duration of the Super Bowl event” and that there’s “an extensive waiting list for any cancellations.”
A representative for Atlantic told The Times on Thursday that its slots have been full “probably for a few weeks now,” adding that the size of the planes was a factor.
“If it’s much smaller planes we can fit more,” the representative said, “but for this event we have much larger planes so we can fit less in that aspect.”
The two fixed-base operators that serve Boulder City Airport — Boulder City Aviation Services and BFE Flight Services — reached their slot limit long ago. BFE manager Randy Saenz said his company could actually accommodate more planes.
“People are begging and asking me to give them a slot,” he told The Times on Friday.
But, he said, “I can’t. It’s not in my capability. Boulder City was given a small number of slots.”
Saenz said he expects the FAA to “tweak” its regulations the next time the Super Bowl is in the area.
“I don’t think they really understood how much traffic goes through this airport when there’s a special event in Vegas,” he said.
Saenz added that he still has space for certain small planes or helicopters that don’t fall under the FAA’s restrictions, but most of the people looking to park there this weekend don’t have aircraft that fall into that category.
His advice to those folks?
“Call a year earlier,” Saenz said.