The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has already cancelled planning meetings in the run up to Super Bowl LIII.
Government officials are concerned about the ongoing government shutdown's potential impact on Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, according to multiple reports. Worries over security at the Super Bowl as well as travel conditions at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport are among the chief concerns.
"Obviously, we are in uncharted territory with the shutdown that's gone on this long, and we are preparing as best we can from our vantage point," Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CBS on Thursday.
The shutdown is most likely to affect air travel in Atlanta, if the government doesn't reopen by Sunday, Feb. 3. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has been forced to end planning sessions for Super Bowl weekend due to the shutdown, leading to a potentially ill-prepared workforce.
"When we work on something as big as the Super Bowl — the biggest spectator event in the country — it takes us a lot of time to plan on extra airplanes and traffic," NATCA representative Dan McCabe told NBC News. "We're going to keep the event safe, but we want it to be an enjoyable event for everybody. It's frustrating that I know it won't be as good as it could be."
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport traditionally receives between 60,000 and 80,000 passengers per day, according to NBC. Over 100,000 people are expected to pass through the airport on Feb. 4, a significant increase for federal employees currently working without pay.