The total solar eclipse is approaching, so the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is offering guidance to commercial and private aircraft before this phenomenon occurs.

The ‘Great North American Eclipse’ will take place on April 8. During this cosmic event, the Moon will pass between Earth and the Sun, traveling “a narrow path of totality from southwest to northeast through thirteen U.S. states,” the government agency said. .

For many passengers, the impact should be limited to the types of delays associated with heavy travel days.

“Due to the high volume of traffic along the eclipse path, arrivals at airports can expect extended delays during peak traffic periods,” the FAA said.

According to the FAA, the eclipse will begin over the South Pacific and cross North America, passing through Mexico, the US and Canada. The eclipse’s path will affect the US from 2:30 PM EST to 3:40 PM EST, the agency said.

Airports in Texas, Vermont, Maine, Canada, New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri will be especially affected by the eclipse, the FAA said.

“The purpose of this notice is to inform pilots of the potential impacts to air traffic and airports along the eclipse path during the period of April 7, 2024 (6 a.m. EST) through April 10, 2024 (midnight EST),” the FAA said. said.

What the FAA says about aircraft ahead of the solar eclipse

In preparation for the eclipse, aircraft should be ready for possible mid-air holds (circling in the air to delay landing), rerouting and FAA-designated takeoff times for all domestic arrivals and departures that adhere to instrument flight rules, the agency said .

Traffic management initiatives, including alternate routes, parking guidance strategies and slowing and speeding up air traffic, could be implemented during the total solar eclipse, according to the FAA.

“There may be higher traffic volumes than normally expected at airports along the path of the eclipse,” the government agency said. “Traffic must anticipate delays during peak periods.”

Aircraft parking could be limited, especially at smaller and uncontrolled airports, the FAA said. Departure could be a challenge for certain aircraft depending on their clearance level, the agency said.

Pilots could find some restrictions at airports on April 8, the FAA says

According to the FAA, pilot training operations at airports will be “extremely limited” and “potentially prohibited” as the eclipse passes.

Pilots are advised to “carefully” review the Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs), a notice to prepare for changes in procedure and service and against hazards, the FAA said.

“Specific NOTAM procedures may be subject to revision and arrivals at some airports may be restricted, so please check NOTAMs regularly to verify you have current information,” the agency said.

Special safety precautions may be in effect during the eclipse, including temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), two-way radio communications and discreet transponder requirements, the FAA said.

TFRs are normally announced via NOTAM about three to five days before the event, the agency said.

Jonathan Limehouse covers the latest and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at

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