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Flight advisory issued for State of the Union address

The FAA has issued a flight advisory to make pilots aware of airspace restrictions and other temporary procedure modifications that will be in effect when President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union message before Congress on Jan. 30.

The U.S. Capitol Building is lit at sunset in Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2016. Photo by Joshua Roberts, REUTERS.

AOPA urges pilots to note the details and effective times of all applicable notices to airmen before flying, and to check frequently for changes that could occur with little or no notice, said Nobuyo Sakata, AOPA director of aviation security.

The State of the Union address is scheduled from 8 to 11 p.m. on Jan. 30. At the request of the Department of Homeland Security, security measures will include modifications of the Washington, D.C., Special Flight Rules Area (DC SFRA) and the Washington Metropolitan Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) “with additional flight restrictions,” the FAA said.

Some of those restrictions include no Part 91 IFR/VFR flights being authorized to transit through the DC SFRA, except IFR aircraft landing at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Manassas Regional Airport/Harry P. Davis Field.

During the notam’s active period, procedures authorizing egress from Barnes Airport in Lisbon, Maryland; Flying M Farms in Comus, Maryland; Mountain Road Airport in Lakeshore, Maryland; Robinson Airport in Benedict, Maryland; Skyview Airport in Manassas, Virginia; Maples Field in Catlett, Virginia; and Goose Hunt Farm Airport in Leesburg, Virginia, will be suspended.

Also suspended during the notam period will be the provisions of 14 CFR Part 93.339 that authorize VFR traffic pattern operations at SFRA airports, and the provisions of FDC NOTAM 6/7215 that authorize ingress/egress procedures for Leesburg Executive Airport in Leesburg, Virginia.

The flight advisory lists operations prohibited anywhere within the SFRA/FRZ including “Model Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft (UAS), Aerobatic Maneuvers, Glider Operations, Parachute Operations, Ultralights, Lighter than Air/Balloon/Moored Balloon, Agricultural/Crop Dusting/Spraying, Animal Population Control, Banner Towing, Utility/Pipeline Patrols, Aircraft/Helicopters operating from a ship or private/corporate yacht, Model Rockets, or Maintenance Flights, Flight Training/Practice Approaches...including DOD, Law Enforcement and Air Ambulance.”

Please consult the flight advisory and the State of the Union address notam for details of all restrictions.

The FAA strongly advises pilots to contact flight service prior to flight to check for current notams.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Airspace, Security, Flight Planning

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