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FAA's Hurricane Florence Update

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FAA's Hurricane Florence UpdateSeptember 20 Update

The FAA cancelled a Special Notice for the Airspace Coordination Area (ACA)along the South Carolina coast. The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over Wilmington, NC, and the ACA for the North Carolina Coast remain in effect. Pilots always should check NOTAMS before they fly near the areas affected by Hurricane Florence.

NOTAMS  are available at:  https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/

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September 19–4pm EDT Update

The FAA has established a new, smaller Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over Wilmington, NC, to provide a safe environment for Hurricane Florence response and recovery flights. The TFR is a 10 nautical mile (11.5 statute mile) radius of Wilmington International Airport from the ground up to 5,000 feet. Aircraft pilots and drone operators always should check NOTAMs before flying in the area. http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_8_4937.html.


September 19 Update 

The FAA has established a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over Wilmington, NC, to provide a safe environment for Hurricane Florence response and recovery flights. The TFR is in a 20 nautical mile (23 statute mile) radius of Wilmington International Airport from the ground up to 5,000 feet. Aircraft pilots and drone operators always should check NOTAMs before flying in the area.  http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_8_4127.html

The agency also is reactivating the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) Fayetteville, Florence, Jacksonville and Wilmington airports in North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina today. LAANC enables drone operators to receive real-time airspace authorizations.


September 17 Update

FAA facilities and equipment are returning to normal operations.  All commercial service airports have reopened, however, most are conducting limited operations at this time.

Commercial passengers: Passengers should be aware that resuming normal airline operations will take time and airlines may not be operating a full flight schedule immediately after the airports reopen. Although airports may be listed as “open” flooding on local roadways may limit access to airports for passengers and employees who work for the airlines or at the airport. As a result, every aspect of your trip to the airport, including parking, checking in, getting through security and boarding may take longer than usual. As always, check with airlines about the status of your flight before you leave for the airport. Monitor fly.faa.gov for current airport status. 

General Aviation pilots: Pilots always should check Notices to Airmen before a flight. Continue monitoring NOTAMs at https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/, check for Temporary Flight Restrictions at  TFR.FAA.gov and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest information. Regardless of where you are flying, always be aware of the weather conditions along your entire planned route.

Drone Users: The FAA warns drone operators that flying an unauthorized drone could interfere with local, state and federal rescue and recovery missions. You could be subject to significant fines if you interfere with emergency response operations. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.


September 14 Update

For Drone Operators: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Special Notice restricting drone operations supporting Hurricane Florence recovery efforts to an altitude of 200 feet above the ground while operating in North and South Carolina. As a reminder, all drone operators are required to give way to manned aircraft at all times.   

The FAA turned off the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system at 11am ET on Friday, September 14, for FAA-towered airports in Hurricane Florence’s path. LAANC enables drone operators to receive real-time airspace authorizations. We expect to restore LAANC at the affected facilities within 30 days. We disabled LAANC at Fayetteville, Florence, Wilmington and Jacksonville airports in North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  


September 13 Update

Pilots should check NOTAMS before they fly near the projected path of Hurricane Florence. Most of the airports and air traffic control facilities in the hurricane’s path have closed or will close soon in anticipation of the storm. Also, a Special Notice is in effect for the Airspace Coordination Area (ACA) along the southeast coast to support a safe environment for aviation operations including disaster response and recovery flights. NOTAMS are available at:  https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/

Standard check lists are even more important in and around severe weather. Be aware of weather conditions throughout the entire route of your planned flight. A pilot’s failure to recognize deteriorating weather conditions continues to cause or contribute to accidents.


September 12 Update

The Federal Aviation Administration closely monitors forecasted hurricanes and severe weather events and prepares FAA facilities and equipment to withstand storm damage. We prepare and protect air traffic control facilities along the projected storm path so we can quickly resume operations after the hurricane passes. Enabling flights to resume quickly is critical to support disaster relief efforts.

Commercial Travelers
Because of Hurricane Florence, airlines are likely to cancel many flights in the direct path of the storm and the surrounding areas. Flights that are not cancelled may be delayed. Once Hurricane Florence makes ground fall, airports may be listed as “open” but flooding on local roadways may limit access to airports for passengers, as well as the employees who work for the airlines or at the airport. As a result, every aspect of your trip to the airport, including parking, checking in, getting through security and boarding may take longer than usual.

As always, check with airlines about the status of your flight before you leave for the airport.  Major carriers provide flight status updates on their website:

Please continue to check the status of your flight with your airline, not the FAA. You can also check the status of some major airports in the storm path by visiting Fly.FAA.gov, which is updated regularly. You can also check current travel advisories provided by most U.S. airlines.

Air Traffic Control
FAA control towers in hurricane-prone areas are designed and built to sustain hurricane force winds. Each control tower has a maximum wind sustainability. When the winds approach that level, controllers evacuate the tower cabs. They may remain in the building on duty in a secure lower level, and are ready to go back to work as soon as the storm passes.

We also protect communications equipment and navigational aids to the greatest extent possible. As the storm approaches, we disable airport surveillance radar antennas to allow them to spin freely, minimizing potential wind damage. This limits damage to the antenna motors and allows radar coverage to resume quickly after the storm passes.

Drone Users
The FAA warns drone operators that they will be subject to significant fines that may exceed $20,000 and civil penalties if they interfere with emergency response operations. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

General Aviation Pilots
Standard check lists are even more important in and around severe weather. Be aware of weather conditions throughout the entire route of your planned flight. A pilot’s failure to recognize deteriorating weather conditions continues to cause or contribute to accidents.

What DHS and FEMA are Doing

What the U.S. Government is Doing

 

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This page was originally published at: https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=91546