Find Your Local Nuke Plants — And Stay Away


Flying around nuclear power plants has always been a bad idea but the Transportation Security Administration has just made it somewhat perilous. At the TSA’s prompting, the FAA has issued an advisory NOTAM notifying pilots that if they are seen flying “suspiciously” around nukes, they can expect to be tracked down by the police or FBI. Pilots who can’t satisfy the cops that their actions were innocent could end up on the TSA’s incident reporting system database. The advisory appears to be a compromise alternative to closing the airspace within 10 nm of nuclear plants, as proposed by some security officials. Such a closure would affect more than 700 airports near the country’s 90 nuclear plants. AOPA says TSA official have confirmed that pilots conducting operations at airports near the plants will not be considered loiterers. Although the TSA insists that isn’t the same as the security list used to revoke airman certificates, AOPA is concerned about the action nonetheless. “Nevertheless, the government must not use this advisory to take away pilot rights or to harass pilots who are conducting normal flight operations,” said AOPA President Phil Boyer.