General aviation resumes at a dozen additional metro areas
By Beth Lewandowski
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- General aviation flights can resume starting Monday in a phased approval at 12 additional metropolitan areas, federal regulators have decided.
Such flights are broadly defined as those under the pilot's own control, and not necessarily under the guidance of air traffic controllers.
After the September 11 airline hijacking attacks, restrictions were imposed on private flights and many commercial flights, such as traffic planes and helicopters, crossing big city airspace.
"This is another step in the FAA's phased program to safely restore full access to U.S. airspace," Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Jane Garvey said in a written statement Sunday. "We expect to take additional actions to restore general aviation consistent with national security."
The agency announced flights by general aviation aircraft may resume according to the following schedule:
- Monday: Atlanta, Georgia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; and San Francisco, California.
- Tuesday: Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and San Diego, California.
- Wednesday: Chicago, Illinois; and Orlando, Florida.
General aviation remains banned within 18 nautical miles of New York City, Boston, Massachusetts, and Washington. This includes flying under both visual flight rules and instrument-rated rules.
The restrictions on general aviation in 15 other metropolitan areas were lifted last week.
The aviation industry welcomed the news. "This is an important milestone and fantastic news for VFR pilots," said Airline Owners and Pilots Association President Phil Boyer.
"But now our focus must turn to restoring operations in the three remaining metropolitan areas and in getting the news and traffic reporters, banner tow-ers, and other specialty operators back in the air everywhere."
Federal Aviation Administration
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