PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A letter from the City of Phoenix’s Director of Aviation is warning that a proposed arena and entertainment district that would host the Arizona Coyotes in Tempe could significantly impact operations at Sky Harbor.
Earlier this week, the hockey team announced a proposed $1.7 billion development in the Tempe Entertainment District. The district would include the arena sitting next to Tempe Town Lake and bring additional shops, restaurants, and other entertainment activities to the area.
A Sept. 20 letter from Aviation Director Chad Makovsky says the recently unveiled proposals for Arizona Coyotes and Bluebird’s Tempe Entertainment District might present “unique and significant” challenges to Sky Harbor International Airport. Specifically, the letter outlines that the developers should conduct an observation evaluation to check that the district does not create a safety hazard to air travel because it’s being built within two miles of an airport runway.
The letter adds that the Coyotes and Bluebird should not allow the use of lasers, fireworks, promotional spotlights, drones, or other disturbances that would require a temporary flight restriction because TFRs in the area would “likely significantly limit, if not altogether suspect flight operations” during these times.
Additionally, the city advises that the developers contract a wildlife biologist to review the plans to ensure it’s compliant with the FAA’s wildlife-hazard mitigation criteria. Makovsky notes, “this requirement is critical given the Coyotes and Bluebird’s desire to expand Tempe Town Lake west to Priest Drive.”
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