A rumor about an imminent U.S. airspace shutdown promulgated by an aviation blogger earlier this week has been debunked by NBAA. “After receiving several inquiries to determine if the FAA is considering closing all domestic airspace, we reconfirmed that the FAA is NOT considering closing airspace,” NBAA director of flight operations and regulations Brian Koester told members via NBAA Air Mail yesterday.
He did explain that the FAA’s air traffic organization has temporarily closed towers and other facilities for Covid-19 related cleaning. “However, once cleaning is complete, these facilities continue to reopen. ATC has been strategic in their mitigations,” Koester added.
Meanwhile, he said NBAA continues discussions with the FAA’s Flight Standards Division about providing immediate regulatory relief for general operators, meaning those operating under Parts 91, 91K, and 125. The FAA has made several exemptions for Part 135 operators and pilots flying for these outfits, but none yet for noncommercial operators. NBAA is seeking relief for general aviation pilot currency, CFI renewals, and extensions for aircraft maintenance and continuing airworthiness requirements, among others. “FAA responded that they have a multifaceted team working nights and weekends to develop a regulatory solution for operators facing impending (or past) deadlines,” Koester wrote.