FAA issues travel warning ahead of April's total solar eclipse

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a travel advisory in anticipation of the total solar eclipse on April 8, cautioning about anticipated "high volume of traffic" along the path of the eclipse.

"Due to the high volume of traffic along the eclipse path, (airport) arrivals can expect lengthy delays during peak traffic periods," the FAA said.

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"The purpose of this notice is to inform airmen of the possible impacts to air traffic and airports along the eclipse path during the period April 7, 2024, (6 a.m. EST) through April 10, 2024, (midnight EST)," the FAA added.

According to the FAA, the eclipse is scheduled to commence over the South Pacific Ocean and traverse North America, cutting through Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The eclipse's trajectory will impact the U.S. between 2:30 p.m. EST and 3:40 p.m. EST, as per the agency's statement.

The FAA has identified airports in Texas, Vermont, Maine, Canada, New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri as the primary areas to be affected by the eclipse.

Independent pilots could face restrictions

The FAA also announced that airport pilot training operations will face "extremely limited" access and could even be "possibly prohibited" during the eclipse passage.

Pilots are strongly advised to "carefully" review the Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs), as stated by the FAA. These NOTAMs provide crucial information regarding changes in procedures, services, and potential hazards.

The agency further emphasizes that specific NOTAM procedures might undergo revisions, and there could be restrictions on arrivals at certain airports. Hence, pilots are urged to frequently check NOTAMs to ensure they have the most up-to-date information.

According to the FAA, special security measures may be implemented during the eclipse, including temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), requirements for two-way radio communications, and discrete transponder usage.