Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FAA Widens Restrictions to June 6-11; Speculation Centers on Likely Early Arrival of President Bush

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FAA Widens Restrictions to June 6-11; Speculation Centers on Likely Early Arrival of President Bush

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson, The Times-Union

BRUNSWICK -- Anyone who wants to leave Glynn County by air between 10 p.m. June 6 and 3 p.m. June 11 will have to be aboard a commercial flight.

Everything else within a 10-mile radius of St. Simons Island will be grounded for the G-8 Summit.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced the temporary flight restrictions Tuesday night at a meeting of pilots in a hangar at Brunswick-Golden Isles Airport. The restrictions are similar to those imposed around Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah -- where summit participants will arrive and depart for the June 8-10 meeting on Sea Island -- but go into effect two days earlier.

Business owners have said the earlier imposition of rules likely means the early arrival of President Bush, host of this year's annual meeting of world leaders. If so, the Secret Service is likely to rachet up its security plan at the same time.

The restrictions impose a no-fly zone for most small airplanes within a 10-mile radius centered on McKinnon-St. Simons Island Airport, with exemptions for ASA Delta Connection's regularly scheduled commercial flights at Brunswick-Golden Isles, law enforcement, military and emergency service flights.

Less stringent restrictions extend from 10 to 40 miles out that would allow pilots to take off and land at other airports, but only if they fly straight in or out, file flight plans and comply with other requirements.

Airports inside that doughnut include St. Marys, Jesup, Lulaton, a dirt strip at Darien, the private strip at Eagle's Neck in northern McIntosh County and several private runways on barrier islands.

Some aviation activities are banned outright, including spraying for mosquitoes, hang gliding, hot air balloons, crop dusting and planes towing banners.

Mike Pickett, who brokers airplanes at McKinnon, said most pilots will simply take the restrictions in stride.

"Most of these pilots, including me, are business pilots who fly by the rules,'' Pickett said. …

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