GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) - The countdown is on to Austin's first Formula One race on Nov. 18.
Roads leading to the track are expected to be jam-packed. That's why helicopters from all of the state will be brought in to help shuttle fans in VIP-style.
Rene Banglesdorf, CEO of Charlie Bravo Charter , just landed a contract with Circuit of The Americas to help fly in fans.
"It was great timing with Formula One coming to town. [It] gives us a unique opportunity to meet some clients we wouldn't necessary meet otherwise," Banglesdorf said.
Helipad locations are being strategically set around the area to accommodate the demand.
"The sites right now confirmed are the Austin Executive Airport, San Marcos Airport and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport," Banglesdork said. "We're also looking for a downtown location. I hear there are 21 applications in with the FAA for a 'helistop' downtown."
That means a lot of additional air traffic over Austin.
Police Chief Art Acevedo got a glimpse of what's to come when he visited an F1 race in London last week.
"Helicopter after helicopter after helicopter, nonstop," he said. "It just reminded me of the movie 'Apocalypse Now.' If you remember when they go into the field and land, the troops would get off and then take off again. That's exactly what it was."
The Federal Aviation Administration said it's making plans to deal with the F1-related congested air traffic. One radar will be dedicated to handle helicopter operations in Central Texas that F1 weekend.
Each flight will take just four- to five minutes to reach the track. Helicopters will be subcontracted out from all over the state to meet the demand.
The round trip cost: $545 per person. That might sound like a hefty price tag for some, but for others it's a bargain.
"We wanted to price the helicopter shuttle reasonably, so people wouldn't think they were being gouged by Texans," Banglesdorf said.
With people coming from all over the world, reservations are filling up fast for the helicopter shuttles. Charlie Bravo Charter expects to fly 1,000 people in and out of the race track that Sunday.
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