By: Russ Niles
Add some political winds to the perfect storm and it tallies up to a little extra homework for those trying to fly to NBAA’s national convention in Orlando Sunday and Monday. President Barack Obama has a campaign event in Orlando on Monday, the day before the convention, and his original travel plans would have resulted in a relatively short disruption as he flew in and out of MCO on Air Force One. But with Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc on the Eastern Seabord, Obama moved his departure to Orlando to Sunday evening and he will stay through early Monday afternoon, bringing a TFR with him. Many exhibitors fly in on Sunday and many attendees arrive on Monday so they need to be aware of the latest NOTAM outlining procedures at Orlando-area airports. The FAA information is subject to change (the NOTAM was revised four times by late Sunday) so pilots are advised to ensure they have the latest information before heading to Florida.
As of early Monday morning, the TFR was in effect from 7:15 p.m. Sunday to 2:45 p.m. Monday but there was word the President planned to cut his visit short and leave by about 12:30 p.m. The TFR was expected to be adjusted accordingly. All traffic is being stopped at MCO for an hour surrounding the arrival and departure times. There are no other restrictions on any traffic using MCO. At Orlando Executive (ORL), pre-clearance gateways are being established at Jacksonville (JAX) and Daytona Beach (DAB) for traffic planning to arrive during the TFR. There are no restrictions before and after the TFR so show FBO Showalter Flying Service will have extra staff to handle the anticipated increase in traffic. Neither Kissimmee (ISM) nor Sanford (SFB) is affected by the TFR. It should be noted the TFR has been revised twice and may undergo more changes so pilots should be vigilant about checking.