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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Division of Aviation sent a reminder Monday for all general aviation pilots. The release reminds pilots to do thorough flight planning prior to flying in and around the Charlotte area during the Democratic National Convention. The Federal Aviation Administration announced various airspace security rings that will be set up out to 35 miles around the convention site at Time Warner Cable Arena. Use of the airspace will be limited or prohibited to most aircraft operators during the DNC from September 4-6.
The FAA came up with the graphic attached to this story. It shows the various layers of restricted airspace.
The "outer ring" stretches from Rowan County Airport in Salisbury to Lancaster County/McWhirter Field in Lancaster, SC, while the inner ring is about 10 nautical miles around the arena. This airspace restriction could be extended to Sept. 7 if President Barack Obama and/or Vice President Joe Biden stay in the area.
"All pilots flying in the region need to make an extra effort to frequently check the status of TFRs during this time," said NCDOT Division of Aviation Safety Specialist Tom Freeman. "As with such events, the scope and time frame of the TFRs can change with little advanced notice."
The radius of the TFR does not extend from the center of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Pilots are urged to take a close look at the exact dimensions and boundaries of the anticipated TFR because the closure area does not match the area controlled by the Charlotte Douglas air traffic control tower (known as CLT Class B Airspace).
The FAA flight advisory states that pilots who violate the restrictions "may be intercepted, detained and interviewed by law enforcement/security personnel." The FAA said that violators may receive civil penalties and the suspension or loss to licenses, face criminal charges, or "…noncompliance with the airspace restrictions associated with this event may result in the use of force."
Pilots are required to check the status of TFRs before every flight through sources such as the FAA website, or the Automated Flight Service Station.