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Don't get too close to Emperor Obama

Only government planes are allowed within 12 miles of Emperor Obama. Private pilots are forbidden from loitering within 30 miles of Emperor Obama. Parachuting, hang gliders, hot-air balloons, model aircraft and rockets and unmanned aircraft systems are forbidden within the 30-mile radius of Emperor Obama. I'm sorry I said Emperor Obama instead of President Obama, but it sure sounds like he is an Emperor! But of course this doesn't sound much different then when Emperor Bush came to Phoenix and effectivelly shut down all civilian aircraft in the Phoenix metro area for his visits.


Obama visit may snarl roads, private flights

Mike Branom, Tribune

February 16, 2009 - 3:04PM , updated: February 17, 2009 - 4:50PM

A presidential motorcade is a sure thing to muck up traffic, but the departure of Air Force One is not expected to affect operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

However, private pilots and others, including news helicopters, will have their activities severely curtailed.

President Barack Obama, in the East Valley to discuss the housing crisis, leaves shortly before 1 p.m. today. Before that, he'll speak at Dobson High School, 1501 W. Guadalupe Road in Mesa.

Officials at Sky Harbor said that travelers shouldn't notice anything different at the airport, aside from the distinctive white-and-blue Boeing 747-200B parked on the tarmac.

"We have hosted Air Force One many times in recent years and have never had flight delays as a result of a presidential visit," airport spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez told the Tribune.

But it will be a different story on the roads and highways.

When the motorcade departs from the Paradise Valley hotel where Obama is staying overnight en route to Dobson and then to the airport, authorities will create "rolling closures." During these, police will block off intersections in advance of the motorcade's arrival, and reopen them once the caravan passes.

Mesa police said Guadalupe Road, in front of the high school, will be closed between Alma School and Dobson roads, from 9 a.m. until about noon.

Although details have yet to be announced, it is expected that the motorcade's travels throughout the Valley will create delays. Also, the area around Dobson High most likely will be blocked off to traffic.

Also, flight restrictions over the Valley, which went into effect Tuesday morning, will end this afternoon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Within 12 nautical miles of Sky Harbor, from the ground to 18,000 feet above sea level, the only air traffic will be federal, military and police activity, approved air ambulance flights, plus regularly scheduled commercial passenger and cargo carriers.

Between 12 and 30 nautical miles, private pilots are permitted to land and depart from local airports, but aircraft are forbidden from loitering in the area.

Forbidden within the 30-mile radius is: flight training, practice instrument approaches, aerobatic flights, parachuting, ultralight aircraft, gliders, hang gliders, hot-air balloons, crop dusters, animal population control flight operations, banner towing, model aircraft and rockets and unmanned aircraft systems.


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