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Solar eclipse could disrupt operations at US airports, FAA says

Dozens of U.S. airports inside and near the path of totality could be overwhelmed by air traffic around the time of the April solar eclipse.
A total solar eclipse is observed above the mountainous Siberian Altai region
Posted at 12:51 PM, Mar 22, 2024

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice ahead of next month's solar eclipse, warning that the event could cause disruptions at airports small and large. 

A nearly 100-mile swath of the U.S., starting from Texas all the way through the Midwest and into Maine, will have a rare total eclipse. In and around that swath, airports are expected to have increases in activity. 

The notice goes into effect on April 7 and will continue through April 10. The solar eclipse will occur on April 8.

With the increased air traffic, pilots are being prepared for potential delays and ramp congestion. They might also have difficulty finding places to park their aircraft along the path of totality. Pilots are being urged to coordinate their flight plans ahead of time to minimize disruptions. 

Scientist develops tool to photograph solar eclipses with smartphones
Dr. Douglas Duncan demonstrates how to use the Solar Snap.

Scientist develops tool to photograph solar eclipses with smartphones

While many are picking up solar eclipse glasses for their eyes, an "eclipse fanatic" reminds viewers to protect their cellphones.


The FAA added that trainings might need to be held off during this four-day window. 

There will also be some security considerations in play. The FAA said temporary flight restrictions, two-way radio communications, and discrete transponder requirements are possible around the time of the eclipse. 

Numerous state governments have said they expect an influx of tourists during the solar eclipse. The total solar eclipse is expected to attract millions of people as more than half of the U.S. population resides within a 12-hour drive from its path of totality. 

Several commercial flights have added routes along the path of totality for passengers to view the eclipse from the air.