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Hurricane Ida Update and FAA NOTAM UAS Operational Guidance

BATON ROUGE, LA - August 29, 2021 - 0700 hrs - Extremely powerful and life-threatening Hurricane Ida has intensified overnight into a high category 4 major hurricane with winds in excess of 150 mph, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center. The storm is projected to make landfall on the southern Louisiana coast later today, causing high wind damage and extreme flooding from both storm surge as well as up to 20 inches of rain in some areas.

AIRT has been in communication with DRONERESPONDERS program partners and emergency management officials in the afflicted region. Public Safety Unmanned Response Teams, and Geographic Information System (GIS) analysts are standing by should assistance be required for response and recovery operations. In expectation of post-storm disaster response and recovery efforts, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a special Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) concerning aviation operations within the Hurricane IDA Aircraft Coordination Area (ACA) including specific emphasis along the Louisiana and Mississippi coastal region.

Key points of the Hurricane Ida NOTAM include:

  1. Pilots flying on the Hurricane Ida ACA should exercise extreme caution due to the presence of numerous flight operations engaged in disaster response and recovery efforts.

  2. Participating aircraft may need to make sudden and unexpected changes in direction, speed, and altitude.

  3. Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) may be established over major metropolitan areas and other critical infrastructure within the ACA.

  4. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operators including public, civil, and model aircraft should avoid flying in the ACA unless conducting an active disaster response or recovery mission. Additional coordination and pre-approval may be required to operate in established TFRs. UAS operators should also review all other applicable federal aviation regulations, specifically including UAS certificates of authorization or waiver. Remain clear of search and rescue activities.

  5. Pilots are advised to check NOTAMs frequently for possible changes prior to operating within or near the Hurricane Ida ACA.

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