The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) will conduct low-altitude helicopter flights over Downtown and areas in and around Buckhead on Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 3 as part of security operations for the Super Bowl.

The flyovers are being conducted to measure naturally occurring background radiation.The measurement of naturally occurring radiation to establish baseline levels is a normal part of security and emergency preparedness. NNSA is making the public aware of the upcoming flights so that people who see the low-flying aircraft are not alarmed.

Residents will see a twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, which is equipped with radiation-sensing technology and is operated by NNSA’s Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measuring System at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C.

The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the areas at 150 feet or higher at a speed of approximately 80 mph. Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours and are estimated to take roughly three hours to complete per area.


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.