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Parents' Weekend Security Procedures
The base is open to visitors daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. via the North Gate (I-25 at exit 156.) On Friday of Parents Weekend, the North Gate will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 10:30 p.m. All non-DoD visitors must enter through the North Gate. You will be asked to show a DoD ID card or your driver’s license upon entry to the base. Also have your proof of insurance and a valid vehicle registration or rental car agreement available. All vehicles entering the base are subject to inspection/search by security personnel. Guests should refrain from bringing large bags, coolers, backpacks or other items that will require additional scrutiny or searches from security personnel. If you have a handicapped placard from your state, please bring it with you so you can access the handicapped parking area (immediately north of Stillman Parade Field).
Please make sure to follow all posted speed limits. Seat belts must be worn by all vehicle occupants at all times when driving on base. Drivers may not use hand-held cellular phones while the vehicle is in motion. If you need to make or take a call, please use a hands-free device or pull to the side of the road. Also, be aware that radar detectors are not permitted on base. Keep in mind that wildlife such as deer, elk and wild turkeys can be a hazard here. Please be alert and drive carefully. Remember, they have the right-of-way!
If Force Protection Conditions (FPCONs) change due to world events or events closer to home, some scheduled events may change or require additional security precautions for the safety of all our guests. Any event changes will be advertised in local media and on the message boards at both entry gates.
Parents' Weekend Parking and Transportation
Plan to arrive early for all Parents’ Weekend events, especially the cadet wing parade. Traffic, parking and security checks may result in delays getting to your destination. Remember, 8,000+ cadet parents, siblings and guests will all be arriving at the academy on Friday morning at about the same time! When you arrive on the base (all non-DoD ID card holders must use the North Gate), follow the signs to visitor parking near the Cadet Field House and reservoir parking lots. Vehicles must be parked in designated parking spaces only. Violators may be ticketed or towed at owner’s expense. There is no guest or cadet parking permitted in the Harmon Hall parking lot on Friday. Private vehicles may not enter the Cadet Area during Parents’ Weekend. Shuttle buses will operate from visitor parking lots on Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., transporting guests to and from the various events within the Cadet Area.
Guests are also welcome to walk from the parking areas. Buses will stop at designated bus stops (identified by signs and benches). No shuttles will run during the weekend.
Throughout your visit, please be prepared with good walking shoes and bottles of water, since bus wait times may sometimes be longer than expected. Although handicapped shuttles will be available throughout the Cadet Area, there may be extensive walking required from bus stops to your final destination. Please make sure to consider this when bringing elderly or infirm guests to the Academy.
Parents' Weekend Weather
Be prepared: Due to our location on the Front Range of the Rockies and our high elevation, weather at the academy can be highly unpredictable and change rapidly. It can be sunny and warm one day and rainy, foggy and cold the next. The daytime high temperature is usually in the 80’s, and the evening low in the 50’s at this time of year. We recommend you bring sunscreen, unopened water bottles and hats. To better plan your day, consult the Air Force Academy Seven Day Forecast.
Hiking during a thunderstorm in Colorado’s mountains can be very dangerous. In the summer, thunderstorms typically begin to form over the mountains in late morning or early afternoon. To minimize your risk of exposure to lightning, it’s best to hike early in the morning.
Warning System: Here at the Air Force Academy, the “Giant Voice System” (an outdoor loud-speaker system) will activate when a thunderstorm or lightning threatens the area. When lightning poses a threat, a notification to seek shelter will be broadcast over the Giant Voice, warning guests to shelter immediately or limit exposure to the outdoors. Guests should remain in an indoor location until it has been determined that lightning is out of the area or no longer a threat.
High Altitude Health Concerns
The U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Area is approximately 7,300 feet above sea level. At this altitude, it is possible to contract an illness known as acute mountain or high-altitude sickness. The common symptoms of this disorder include headache, malaise, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. Most cases of acute mountain sickness are mild but the altitude may exacerbate other existing medical conditions. High altitude sickness usually resolves within a few days once an individual has had a chance to adapt to the increased elevation.
The best way to avoid illness is to allow yourself to acclimatize. Try not to overexert yourself in the first days after your arrival and make sure to drink sufficient fluids to avoid dehydration. Do not go sight seeing at higher elevations (i.e., up in the mountains) until after you have been in Colorado Springs for a few days. Alcohol consumption may worsen these symptoms, so drink in moderation.
Appropriate Dress during your Visit
Please ensure children and young adults wear appropriate clothing for a visit to a national military academy. Plan to dress sensibly and comfortably for outdoor activities such as the Cadet Wing Parade. Since a visit to the Academy may require extensive walking, wear good walking shoes. We suggest that guests bring sun block, hats and rain gear for scheduled outside events.
For chapel services and official ceremonies, please dress appropriately; for example, dress or slacks for ladies, coat and tie for gentlemen and service dress uniform or equivalent for military members.
Information for Handicapped Guests
For all handicapped guests attending Parents’ Weekend, please note that the academy does not issue handicapped parking passes. Individuals are asked to bring their own state issued handicapped parking pass to access the handicapped parking lot in the Cadet Area (north of Stillman Field) or at Falcon Stadium. The Academy also does not provide wheelchairs or other medical equipment. Please see the list of local companies offering rental of durable medical equipment, including oxygen. (no government endorsement of companies listed is suggested)
Local Companies Providing Oxygen, Walkers and Wheelchairs:
Roth Medical (719) 520-1414 or 321-6226
4715 Town Center Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80916
CareMax (888) 419-3057
373 Inverness Parkway, Suite 207
Centennial, CO 80112
Has a local distributor
Preferred Homecare (719) 548-9220
1049 Elkton Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Apria Healthcare (719) 262-2600 or 310-2653
6325 Corporate Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
Major Medical (719) 475-1236
405 N. Union Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Falcon Stadium Entrance Policy
Early entry is encouraged. Guests are strongly encouraged not to bring any type of bags. Guests should also come prepared to show keys, cell phones, or other metal related items in their hands during the screening process. Please remember that Falcon Stadium is not responsible for any items left at the gates or in the trash receptacles.
- Air Force Academy entrance gates (North and South) will open 4 hours prior to kickoff.
- Stadium gates and ticket booths will open two hours prior to kickoff.
- All persons and personal belongings entering the stadium are subject to search.
- Express lines available for spectators entering the stadium with nothing to be searched.
- Food is permitted, but must be displayed in a transparent one gallon zip lock bag. Note: Only (1) one gallon transparent zip lock bag per ticket holder.
- Factory-sealed transparent soft plastic water bottles, 24 oz. or less is the only beverage permitted. Note: Exceptions will be made for medical conditions and infants.
- All cadets must have their military ID card in order to gain entry.
- Re-entry is permitted at gates three, six, and nine only.
- Post game tailgating will close two hours after the conclusion of each football game.
The following items are not permitted in Falcon Stadium:
- Alcohol, glass containers, cans, and hard sided (or Nalgene) plastic bottles
- Illegal substances: Note – Marijuana is an illegal substance on Federal property
- No hand bags larger than 8” x 11”. Hard-sided containers, or coolers. Note: Infant diaper bags/carrier packs permitted if infant is present
- Backpacks to include bota bags, wine-skins, and camelbacks
- Laser pointers, fireworks, or any item deemed unsafe by security personnel
- Banners/Signs (No signs larger than 18” x 24”) No profane or offensive messages
- Pets (other than working service dogs)
- Sticks, bats, clubs, poles or umbrellas
- Artificial noisemakers of any kind
- Weapons: Firearms, knives, box cutters, scissors, etc.
- Baby seats, Large Strollers (Collapsible umbrella strollers are permitted)
- Any item that cannot be readily inspected
- Flash photography
- Smoking or Tobacco of any kind
- Storage of prohibited items
- Seat backs wider than 19 inches (no excessive pockets or protruding arm rests)