As the region begins to pick up in Hurricane Rita's wake, the FAA has issued a notam restricting flight over an area of the Gulf Coast from roughly Galveston Bay to Lafayette, Louisiana. Aircraft operating in these areas must first receive approval from the FAA Recovery Desk, contact an airborne early warning aircraft before entering the area, and remain clear of all disaster relief aircraft. Pilots should also be aware that aerial refueling of military helicopters using HC-130P tankers is being conducted within this area and to the north of the Katrina airspace control plan area.
In addition, there are two joint task force airspace control plans in effect over both the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Aircraft not involved in FEMA relief activities are asked to avoid a larger alert area over the Louisiana coast. You can see graphic depictions of these areas using AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner.
Updated: October 4, 2005, 9:50 a.m. EDT