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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

FAA Splits Hudson Airspace Into Zones

The Federal Aviation Administration’s new “exclusionary zone” that separates helicopters and seaplanes from aircraft flying over the Hudson River in the airspace around New York City goes into effect on Thursday, Nov. 19. Under the new regulations, VFR aircraft operating under air traffic control (ATC) rules will fly above 1,300 feet, while aircraft using visual flight rules will operate between 1,000 and 1,300 feet and share a common radio frequency with aircraft below 1,000 feet. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood noted that better separation in the corridor “means a higher margin of safety.” He added that “separating aircraft on different missions and improving pilot situational awareness will add more layers of safety to this high-demand airspace.” The changes come in the wake of the Aug. 8 midair collision involving a Eurocopter AS350B2 and a Piper PA32 over the Hudson. Nine people died in the crash.
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