GA Flights Restricted In Brazil

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As Brazil continues to cope with the repercussions of the Boeing 737 midair accident that killed 154 people last month -- the country's worst air disaster ever -- aviation authorities there have restricted private flying in certain airspace segments. Air traffic controllers said they have to impose the restrictions so they can try to reduce delays for commercial flights, according to the ASI Group. Controllers already have increased the minimum spacing for commercial flights from 5 to 10 nautical miles, and that change has been causing delays. The new restrictions mean private flights now are banned from 0730 to 1200 and from 1700 to 2000 local time, ASI said. Within this timeframe, private aircraft will not be allowed to take off, land or fly over the airspace of the cities of Brasilia, Cuiaba, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Belo Horizonte. These regulations will be in effect until Nov. 28. The ban affects private airplanes and business jets, but not emergency medical, military or presidential flights. The Gol Airlines 737 was en route from Manaus to Brasilia on Sept. 29 when it collided with an Embraer Legacy 600 executive jet and crashed in the jungle, while the Legacy it collided with was able to make a safe emergency landing.