July 30, 2013

President’s visit to bring flight restrictions today

Charles Oliver

— Federal officials have imposed temporary flight restrictions over the Chattanooga area today that will affect the Dalton Municipal Airport.

Officials have imposed the restrictions between noon and 3 p.m. because of President Barack Obama’s visit to Chattanooga.

“There are some pretty specific restrictions on who can do what and when. But basically, it’s a 30-mile radius circle around the event up to 18,000 feet of altitude where flight is restricted,” said airport manager Frank Hubbs. “There’s a 10-mile radius circle within that larger circle where flights are prohibited except for emergency and military aircraft.”

Planes flying within the larger circle must have filed a flight plan with the Federal Aviation Administration along with their transponder code before leaving the ground.

“They do not allow flight training, practice instrument approaches, aerobatic flight, glider operation, among other things,” Hubbs said.

Hubbs said corporate and business aircraft typically file flight plans but much of the activity at the Dalton airport consists of private pilots who do not typically need to file a flight plan.

The president is visiting Chattanooga to promote American competitiveness at the Amazon fulfillment center, which packs and ships products to online purchasers. The White House said some new policy ideas will be outlined during the visit.