Earlier this week, NBC Bay Area reported that lighting at Levi's Stadium was creating issues for pilots. The report looked at six different complaints submitted to the FAA. The last noted complaint was back in December, and it would appear there are no issues at this point. And we can thank TMZ for getting to the bottom of it!
That's right, our favorite gossip rag did some digging, and managed to get some clarification from the FAA about where the situation stands. According to the FAA the NBC Bay Area is "very misleading". They say the last complaint was in December 2014, and they had received fewer than six. I suppose they are used to more if it was a real problem?
The FAA said the stadium authority was quick to address the issue, and is in constant communication with the agency before any lighting plans. They emphasized "[t]here is no danger." The highlight of TMZ reporting on this was their continued use of all caps and bizarre ellipses in writing about a government agency. Here is one small tidbit that I particularly enjoyed:
The FAA also provided this statement:
Last year, a few pilots reported being distracted or confused by bright lights from the Levi Stadium scoreboard. Most of the reports appeared to be related to scoreboard testing and calibration, when the equipment was illuminated more brightly than normal.
The FAA relayed these concerns to the stadium operator, which agreed to provide the FAA with advance notice of all scoreboard testing and not to test or calibrate it at night during scheduled airfield hours.
Additionally, pilots are alerted that they can expect bright lights whenever they're flying near the stadium through Notices to Airmen, the San Jose International Airport facility directory and recorded information on the airport's pilot information system.
FAA and stadium officials also speak multiple times before every game, concert or other event to discuss any event-specific alerts that may need to be issued.
The FAA is unaware of any pilot reports about stadium lights since December 2014.