FAA's Hurricane Harvey Update

August 30 Update

The Federal Aviation Administration has continued to handle emergency and relief operations at a number of airports in the Hurricane Harvey area, including at Houston Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental. The FAA is prepared to support the resumption of commercial service flights when airport authorities reopen the airports.

Drone Users: In areas where Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) are in place, you cannot fly a drone without specific FAA authorization. If you do not have this authorization, you should not be flying in the area covered by the TFR. The FAA has issued a number of TFRs for the Houston area and Beaumont over the past few days that outline the coordination process for authorized operations.

Houston
Rosenberg
Crosby
Ingleside-on-the-Bay
Beaumont

The FAA warns drone operators that flying an unauthorized drone could interfere with local, state and federal rescue and recovery missions. You could be subject to significant fines if you interfere with emergency response operations. Flying a dronewithout authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if a TFR is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

Commercial passengers: Passengers should be aware that resuming normal airline operations will take time and airlines may not be operating a full flight schedule immediately after the airports reopen. Although airports may be listed as “open,” flooding on local roadways may limit access to airports for passengers, as well as the employees who work for the airlines or at the airport. As a result, every aspect of your trip to the airport, including parking, checking in, getting through security and boarding may take longer than usual. As always, check with airlines about the status of your flight before you leave for the airport.

General Aviation pilots: The FAA has issued a number of TFRs for the Houston area and Beaumont over the past few days. Pilots should always check Notices for Airmen before a flight.

Houston
Rosenberg
Crosby
Ingleside-on-the-Bay
Beaumont

Continue monitoring TFR.FAA.gov and @FAANews on Twitter for the latest information. The FAA is coordinating media flights in the area covered by the TFR, under the conditions outlined in the notices. Regardless of where you are flying, always be aware of the weather conditions along your entire planned route. If you are planning to travel to or from Texas or Louisiana, contact your destination airport before you take off to obtain the most current information about local weather and airfield conditions.


August 29 Update

The Federal Aviation Administration has continued to handle emergency and relief operations at a number of airports in the Hurricane Harvey area, including at Houston Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental. The FAA is prepared to support the resumption of commercial service flights when airport authorities reopen the airports.

This Hurricane Harvey information is critical so that first responders can conduct rescue and recovery operations.   

Drone Users: The FAA warns unauthorized drone operators that flying a drone could interfere with the U.S. National Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Texas Military Department’s rescue and recovery missions as evacuations escalate due to rising water. You could be subject to significant fines if you interfere with emergency response operations. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

Commercial passengers: Passengers should be aware that resuming normal airline operations will take time and airlines may not be operating a full flight schedule immediately after the airports reopen. Although airports may be listed as “open,” flooding on local roadways may limit access to airports for passengers, as well as the employees who work for the airlines or at the airport. As a result, every aspect of your trip to the airport, including parking, checking in, getting through security and boarding may take longer than usual. As always, check with airlines about the status of your flight before you leave for the airport.  

GA pilots: There is currently a TFR in place for Rosenberg, Texas and Houston, Texas until further notice. Continue monitoring TFR.FAA.gov and @FAANews on Twitter for the latest information. Regardless of where you are flying, always be aware of the weather conditions. If you are planning to travel to or from Texas or Louisiana, know the runway conditions before operating by contacting your destination facility.

Operations Update: The FAA has set up a Mobile Air Traffic Control Tower (MATCT) at Fort Worth Meacham (KTFW) awaiting further deployment as needed. 


August 25

Air Traffic Control
The Federal Aviation Administration closely monitors forecasted hurricanes and severe weather events and prepares FAA facilities and equipment to withstand storm damage. We prepare and protect air traffic control facilities along the projected storm path so we can quickly resume operations after the hurricane passes. Enabling flights to resume quickly is critical to support disaster relief efforts.

FAA control towers in hurricane-prone areas are designed and built to sustain hurricane force winds. Each control tower has a maximum wind sustainability. When the winds approach that level, controllers evacuate the tower cabs. They may remain in the building on duty in a secure lower level, and are ready to go back to work as soon as the storm passes.

We also protect communications equipment and navigational aids to the greatest extent possible. As the storm approaches, we disable airport surveillance radar antennas to allow them to spin freely, minimizing potential wind damage. This limits damage to the antenna motors and allows radar coverage to resume quickly after the storm passes.

Commercial Travelers
Because of Hurricane Harvey, airlines are likely to cancel many flights in the direct path of the storm and the surrounding area. Flights that are not cancelled may be delayed. Please continue to check the status of your flight with your airline. You can also check the status of some major airports in the storm path by visiting Fly.FAA.gov, which is updated regularly.

Drone Users
The FAA warns unauthorized drone operators that they may be subject to significant fines if they interfere with emergency response operations. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

General Aviation Pilots
Standard check lists are even more important in and around severe weather. Be aware of weather conditions throughout the entire route of your planned flight. A pilot’s failure to recognize deteriorating weather conditions continues to cause or contribute to accidents.