Top FAA air traffic officials warned pilots of expected air traffic delays in Florida and up the East Coast this holiday weekend.
Some pilots flying IFR experienced multi-hour delays getting departure clearances over the Christmas weekend, and the FAA expects similar traffic volumes for the New Year’s weekend, officials told AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association.
Pilots can beat the rush and help streamline operations by filing IFR flight plans at least 24 hours in advance and by leaving Florida as early or late in the weekend as possible or on Monday, January 4.
“This Sunday will be a bad day getting out of South Florida,” one FAA official said.
Pilots should not count on being able to air-file IFR flight plans or receive clearances along the East Coast, especially for those flights in the flight levels and into congested areas.
“We care about all pilots and passengers,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “Please follow these guidelines to make your holiday flying safe and memorable.”
Specifically, AOPA and NBAA strongly encourage everyone to:
These practical, highly effective measures are among the tenets of the FileSmart initiative, supported by AOPA and NBAA.
NBAA staff contributed to this article.