Ottawa TFR for President Bush's Visit

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, Ottawa will be facing an American-style TFR (temporary flight restriction) during President Bush’s visit on Tuesday 30 November and Wednesday 1 December, covering nearly 10,000 square kilometers of Canadian airspace from the ground to 12,500 feet. I’m not too worried about violations in the inner core, which is controlled airspace (class D) anyway, but I am worried about innocent pilots getting in trouble inside the bigger circle flying from uncontrolled airports like Arnprior or Smith’s Falls. To try to help, I’ve made up a map of the TFR coverage (low-resolution and high-resolution), which is available in the full version of this posting on my Web site.

Please note that these charts are ENTIRELY UNOFFICIAL. Pilots are responsible for reading the actual TFR themselves and for confirming the boundaries — I may have any or all of them wrong. OK, here’s the low-resolution version, based on the U.S. Montreal Sectional Chart (since we’re not allowed to distributed copies of a Canadian VNC, just to add insult to injury):

(For a high-resolution version, click here.)

According to version of the NOTAM available at the time of this posting (it may change still), there are three areas of restricted airspace, all marked on the chart:

This is the normal Parliament Hill class F on steriods: it has grown from a 0.5 nm radius and 1500 feet to a 12 nm radius and 12,500 feet, effectively closing CYOW, CYND, and CYRO to any non-airline/emergency/military traffic. This restriction is in force from 15:50z (10:50 EST) on Tuesday 30 November to 13:00z on Wednesday 1 December.
This is an expanded version of the CYOW control zone, again, from the surface to 12,500 feet: basically, the airport will be closed while the President is arriving and while he is leaving. The restriction is in effect from 15:00z-15:50z (10:00-10:50 EST) on Tuesday for the arrival, and again from 12:30z-13:15z (7:30-8:15 EST) on Wednesday for the departure. Note that the airport is still covered by CYR537 in between these two closures.
This is an expanded version of the Ottawa Terminal control space, again, from the surface to 12,500 feet. This is the one most likely to get pilots in trouble, since many pilots who fly planes and gliders from the smaller airports under it do not call ATC at all for normal flights. Note that there is no way to fly under this, unlike the outer ring of Ottawa Terminal airspace. To fly in this area, you have to be on a flight plan, talking to ATC, and squawking an assigned code. This restriction is in effect from 15:00z (10:00 EST) on Tuesday until 13:15z (8:15 EST) on Wednesday.

Good luck, everyone, and please be careful. Hopefully, COPA will let us know where we can vent our frustration when this is all over. I also hope that the government plans to compensate all of the small schools and other aviation businesses that cannot afford to lose a day’s revenue.


About David Megginson

Scholar, tech guy, Canuck, open-source/data/information zealot, urban pedestrian, language geek, tea drinker, pater familias, red tory, amateur musician, private pilot.
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