Why news of a no-fly zone over Biden’s current location isn’t as big of a deal as it seems

Nov 6, 2020

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With the results of the presidential election expected soon, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is extending its restriction on air travel over Joe Biden’s location.

A no-fly zone has been put in place around the Democratic candidate’s house in Wilmington, Delaware, and the nearby Chase Center, where Biden would give a possible victory speech should he win the race. The areas have been designated as “national defense airspace.”

Some may speculate that these are early signs of a Biden victory, and the topic did gin up splashy headlines in major news outlets. However, in reality, it just appears to be an extension of a routine restriction issued in August when Biden accepted the presidential nomination.

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The no-fly zone covers a one-mile radius near New Castle Airport (ILG), which is currently without commercial service — though Frontier is expected to return early next year. Pilots not departing or arriving from the airport must avoid the area, except in extraordinary circumstances, such as safety and emergency reasons. Planes that do not follow the restrictions can be intercepted.

Drones and other unmanned aircraft are restricted from flying as well.

Related: How this election will change the travel industry

(Photo by the FAA)

Flight restrictions are common practice around large gatherings and major events, such as elections. For instance, in 2016, the FAA implemented no-fly zones around the homes of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as well as their running mates. As another example, Disney has a permanent no-fly zone over both of its U.S. parks.

The temporary flight restriction was originally placed in late August and set to expire Friday, but has since been extended through Wednesday morning (Nov. 11).

Featured image by Rafael Cordero/Getty Images.

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