FAA Restricts Airspace for Upcoming Space Flight

TheFederal Aviation Administration(FAA) hasissued multipleNotice to Airmen (NOTAMS)Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) around Cape Canaveral, Fla., through Wednesday, May 27,2020.

The NOTAMS are in preparation forNASAs historic manned space flight to the International Space Station aboard theSpaceXCrew Dragon capsule.This the first launch of astronauts to Earth orbit on an American-built spacecraft from American soil since 2011.

The FAAs role is to ensure the safety of the airspaceby prohibitingallaircraft operations within 30 nautical miles of NASAs Kennedy Space Center during the reported timeframeunless theoperation isexempted. There are three types of NOTAMs: airspace,to close the airspace near the launch; flow, to provide route guidance to aviation operators; and security,to implement security measures for aircraft andUnmanned Aircraft Systems(UAS) in the area.

Aircraftoperations involving UAS, flight training, aerobatic, glider, seaplane,parachute, ultralight, hang gliding, balloon, agriculture/crop dusting andmoreare prohibited.

Pilots whodo notcomply with the requirements,special instructions or procedures in the NOTAM may be intercepted, detained by law enforcement, and subjected toany of the following additional actions:

  • Civil penalties and the suspension or revocation of airmen certificates; or
  • Criminal charges, including charges under Title 49 of the United States Code, Section 46307; or
  • TheU.S.Government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.

Pilots should always monitor TFRs andNOTAMs before they fly so that they are aware of airspace restrictions.