April 1, 2009
Pilots arriving in and departing from towered airports in the Detroit area this weekend could face 15- to 30-minute delays because of congestion related to the men’s college basketball Final Four.
Delays are anticipated between Friday, April 3, and Tuesday, April 7, with the longest likely Saturday morning and afternoon, prior to the North Carolina-Villanova and Michigan State-Connecticut semifinal games that evening, and late Monday night, following the championship game’s conclusion. All three games will be played at Ford Field downtown.
The FAA expects the event to draw up to 200 additional airplanes daily to four area airports: Oakland County International, Coleman A. Young Municipal, Willow Run, and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County.
The FAA is preparing for the additional traffic and is planning to use traffic management initiatives as needed. Pilots operating at airports in the area also should be careful about the increased traffic.
Pilot Skip Gibbs regularly uses his Bonanza A36 to bring medical volunteers and supplies to remote areas of Mexico. Just before sunset, Gibbs was flying to the historic city of El Fuerte in the state of Sinaloa where LIGA International Flying Doctors of Mercy has been doing good works since 1934.
The board of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority will wait 120 days before making a final decision to close Braden Airport, citing community concerns.
The GACE Flying Club, which grew from a club for Grumman employees, prides itself on offering members low-cost, safe flying and social events.