The F-A-A is out with a new temporary ban on some flying activities. They’re called “NOTAMs”, Notices to Airmen, and the latest bans any private aircraft from flying within ten miles of a nuclear power plant. Iowa’s Palo nuclear power plant is just far enough from the Cedar Rapids airport that planes can take off and land normally, though an instructor says the usual student-pilot training maneuvers done over open country there will be moved away from the sensitive area. But the airport at Clinton is closed through November 6th because it’s about four miles from a nuclear power plant in Cordova, Illinois. Clinton airport manager Rex Brandt says while weather often grounds student and private pilots, the shutdown after September 11th and the latest flying ban are different.When weather’s bad you know it’ll end, but you don’t know when a government shutdown will end, and he’s seen NOTAMs be extended before. Brandt recalls the grounding of all planes on September 11th, as he headed to a local football game.The latest ban on private or instrument flying near power plants is due to be lifted at midnight November 6th, unless further orders come from the FAA. The Iowa D-O-T says aviation in counties that don’t have commercial flights still generates nearly 110-million dollars a year in economic activity.
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