Alaska News

FAA announces flight restrictions for Seward, Kotzebue, Dillingham during Obama visit

Small planes will be grounded for stretches in Seward, Dillingham and Kotzebue during President Barack Obama's visits to those towns over the next few days, the Federal Aviation Administration announced.

Security restrictions will be in force at various times from Monday through early Thursday. The times are subject to change; pilots should check for the latest notice to airmen before starting a trip, the FAA said.

As of midday Saturday, general aviation flights won't be allowed during these times:

- In Seward from 10:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday

- In Dillingham from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday

- In Kotzebue from 5:15 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday

- In Anchorage from 11 p.m. Wednesday to 12:30 a.m. Thursday


During other stretches, small planes will be allowed to fly in and out of Anchorage, though flights within a 10-mile security radius will need to go through screening by the Transportation Security Administration. Outbound flights can be screened at Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Merrill Field and Lake Hood. Inbound flights can be screened at what the FAA calls "gateway airports" set up for security checks. They are Palmer Municipal Airport and Wasilla Lake.

The periods with required security checks for general aviation are:

- From 1 p.m. Monday to 11 a.m. Tuesday; and

- From 7:45 p.m. Tuesday to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Drone use, hang gliding, sightseeing flights and utility surveys are among the activities barred within a 30-mile zone during the restricted periods.

Scheduled commercial passenger and cargo flights operating under TSA-approved security programs are not affected by the temporary flight restrictions.

Lisa Demer

Lisa Demer was a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Dispatch News. Among her many assignments, she spent three years based in Bethel as the newspaper's western Alaska correspondent. She left the ADN in 2018.