Due to the Homeland Security Department's decision to increase the national terrorism threat level to Orange earlier this week, the FAA has issued a notam establishing larger than normal flight restrictions over this Sunday's Indy 500 race in Indianapolis, Indiana. The temporary flight restriction (TFR) will extend 7 nm around and 10,000 feet above the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It will be in effect from 0900 local through 1800 local on May 25, 2003.
The notam does not apply to the two public-use airports, including Indianapolis International (IND) and Eagle Creek (EYE). Both airports will remain open for arrivals and departures as long as the aircraft is on a VFR or IFR flight plan, maintains two-way communications with ATC, and squawks a discrete transponder code.
Medical evacuation, law enforcement, DOD, rescue/recovery, and emergency evacuation aircraft are also exempt from the TFR, as long as they squawk an ATC-assigned discrete beacon code and are in contact with ATC.
While officials have stated that there is no information that a specific threat for the event exists, increased measures are being taken considering the concentrated number of spectators attending the event.
The race is expected to bring well over 500,000 spectators to Indianapolis for Sunday's event. Pilots are encouraged to check all notams prior to flight.