TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been a busy day Friday at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport.
Dozens of chartered jet aircraft have been flying in all day bringing LSU and Alabama fans to Tuscaloosa.
Tom Annexstad and his family flew a chartered jet from Atlanta. They wanted to avoid the traffic delays so a plane trip was a good move.
“I think the traffic is going to be incredible tomorrow and I think we are all fortunate to be able to fly into this airport to avoid that,” Annexstad said. “I think the commute from Atlanta would be 4 to 5 hours so we are blessed to be able to fly into here.”
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is encouraging out of town fans to fly in on Friday and not Saturday because of President Donald Trump’s visit to the big game. From 1:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday night all air traffic will be shut down temporarily until the president leaves Tuscaloosa.
“Come on into Tuscaloosa today,” Maddox said. “Saturday is going to be a challenging day with the presidential visit and will require lots of flexibility and patience and you can avoid a lot of that by flying in today. So come on into Tuscaloosa we’d love to have you!”
Karen Annexstad flew in Friday with her husband and family. She says she’s very excited to watch Alabama play LSU but that’s not the only reason she’s in town.
“We are flying for our family foundation to help students at the University of Alabama but we are also big Bama fans and we try to come to a few games every year and this is the biggest one on the year so we are super excited!” Annexstad sai.
Mayor Maddox says having so much air traffic is good for the local economy.
“We’ve underutilized our airport for way too long and today illustrates what our airport can do,” Maddox said. “And the investment we are going to make under elevate Tuscaloosa is going to make it better so days like today will become the norm, five and ten years from now and this is always good for the city.”
The last time the two SEC rivals played each other at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Mayor Maddox says more than 700 flights flew into Tuscaloosa.
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