Pilots planning to fly in to this year's AOPA Expo 2003 in Philadelphia October 30-November 1 can begin at least some of the flight planning now. Arrival procedures for both Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Philadelphia Northeast Airport (PNE) are now posted on the AOPA Expo 2003 Web page.
Atlantic is the FBO at both airports. Its general aviation ramp at PHL is one of the largest on the East Coast and will play host to Expo's static display of some 60 aircraft.
Pilots are urged to arrive at PNE, since aircraft parking at PHL will be limited to the first few hundred arrivals. AOPA will provide ground transportation from both airports to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Pilots who decide to land at one of the many other GA airports in the Philadelphia area will be responsible for their own tiedown and ground transportation arrangements.
Pilots wishing to avoid delays are advised to arrive VFR if weather conditions permit. In Philadelphia's busy Class B airspace, the FAA plans to use a Special Traffic Management Program (STMP), requiring IFR traffic to reserve a "slot." Due to the limited number of slots, IFR pilots should expect significant delays. Also, "pop-up" and air-filed IFR clearances will not be accepted within 200 miles of Philadelphia International Airport.
"AOPA Expo and the thousands of pilots who fly in for it always present a challenge to local air traffic controllers," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But every year the controllers rise to that challenge. They work closely with us to develop procedures that make everyone's lives—theirs and ours—a little easier."