By: Fallon Silcox
SARASOTA, FL– Pilots will need to take some precautions later this month, or face serious consequences. Sarasota’s Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol is working to spread the word of Temporary Flight Restrictions that will be in place for the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
The temporary flight restrictions, or TFR, will take place from the 26th through the 30th, and officials with the Civil Air Patrol say if pilots don’t abide by the restrictions, they could be facing stiff fines or worse.
As the delegates prepare for the Republican National Convention, those with the Sarasota Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, hope to help pilots also get prepared. “Let’s say you, as a general aviation pilot, were to take off from hidden river, which is a private aviation community, not talk to Tampa. or Sarasota, but just take off and stay within flight rules and regulations, you could be airborne and violate the tfr space without being aware of it,” Captain Francis Misantone, US Air Force Auxiliary.
The FAA designated the area around the convention a no fly zone. “There is going to be, when the actual convention goes on from the 27th through 30th, a total exclusion zone, 3 mile circumference of the Tampa. convention center, up to 5000 feet. That one, no one’s allowed to go in, period, “ Bill Hansen, Deputy Commander, Sarasota Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.
And Misantone says even if it’s a mistake, pilots could pay for violating the TFR. “What’s going to happen if you do that, is you’re going to be met with force. You’re going to have a f16 scrambling out of macdill coming up on your wingtip asking you to land.”
The Civil Air Patrol has posted signs at local airports, trying to spread the word about the tfr, and officials say while they don’t expect any problems,they are prepared for them. “We’re notifying you don’t violate it, do we expect a problem, no, are we ready for it? You better believe we are. Basically, we’re taking every precaution to keep everybody on the ground and in the air safe,” Misantone.
For more information of the temporary flight restrictions, look under links we mentioned.