The FAA has established a special airspace control area along the Gulf Coast to aid with the search and rescue effort for survivors of Hurricane Katrina (graphical depictions of this TFR is available on AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner).
The latest notam establishes the Joint Task Force Katrina Airspace Control Plan, covering a large portion of the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coastal areas from Baton Rouge to Mobile. The control airspace extends up to 5,000 feet. Aircraft not directly involved in FEMA operations are asked to avoid the area. For relief and rescue aircraft, detailed operating procedures are scheduled to be posted on the FAA Web site.
"Our hearts go out to all of the families affected by Hurricane Katrina," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The first thing many pilots want to do is fly to the Gulf Coast area to help provide disaster relief. However, for the time being we need to resist that urge, no matter how well intended. The airspace has been restricted to facilitate the vitally important search and rescue efforts, and we do not want to hamper those life-saving missions."
The best way AOPA members can help with the relief effort right now is to donate to one of the nonprofit relief agencies, such as the American Red Cross."
Updated: September 7, 2005, 10:38 a.m. EDT