Q&A on the News

Q: For the Masters, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) asked that aircraft stay at least 2 miles away from Augusta National Golf Club. How and by whom is this type of request initiated? Can an ordinary citizen make a similar request?

— Jeff Christian, Peachtree City

A: The FAA initiated a voluntary flight advisory for pilots last Monday, asking pilots to remain 2 miles outside the golf course and 2,500 feet above the course because of the expected large crowds and to help minimize the distraction, said FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen. The FAA issues a Temporary Flight Restriction to restrict air travel due to a special event or a hazardous condition. "We knew there would be an increase in media attention and flights over the area," she said. It has not been done at any previous Masters. Air traffic control in Augusta later in the week contacted the FAA's flight standards district office to make sure a plane carrying banners mocking Tiger Woods was flying in a safe manner. Inspectors found minor mechanical issues with the aircraft and requested that the operator get repairs before resuming the banner towing. The operator requested and received permission to fly back to Ohio for repairs. Bergen said any citizen can contact the FAA with a complaint about low-flying aircraft or other concerns.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).