El Chapo’s Temporary Flight Restriction

Before a recent night flight from Hanscom Field (KBED) to Land of Gulfstreams (Teterboro, NJ; KTEB), I decided to call the official government-sponsored weather briefer at Leidos. The KTEB folks were shutting down one runway and I wanted to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything else important.

The briefer asked “You’re familiar with El Chapo’s TFR in Brooklyn?” I hadn’t heard about it, but it seems that El Chapo is being protected by a temporary flight restriction centered on the courthouse, with a radius of 0.4 miles, and from the surface up to 1,500′. The user-friendly page doesn’t mention El Chapo, but the XML text does:

<XNOTAM-Update xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="http://atasoap.atalab.faa.gov/NOTAMS/xNOTAM.xsd" version="0.1" origin="" created="2019-01-21T06:40:13">
<txtLocalName>190107-190228 NYC El Chapo New</txtLocalName>

<txtNameUSState>NEW YORK</txtNameUSState>

Separately, let me say thanks to the good folks at Meridian TEB. It is a bad day for any FBO when a piston-powered aircraft shows up and that’s especially true at Teterboro (do you want to sell 15 gallons of 100LL to Joe CFI in the flight school Cessna or 2000 gallons of jet fuel to Gulfstream Al (Gore) or the Clinton Foundation?). Meridian has always been friendly and helpful, even keeping midget chocks around for those of us who fly Cirrus or similar. This was a business trip and my departure was set for Official Polar Vortex Panic Day. It was 3 degrees overnight on the ramp and warmed up only to about 12 by mid-day. Starting an aluminum aircraft engine after it has been cold-soaked does a lot of damage. Meridian kept the plane in their warm maintenance hangar overnight and until our 2 pm departure. It is ground-support folks like this that make personal aviation practical in the U.S.

Finally, now that the shutdown is over, our local government workers are working 24/7. Email received today:

Please be advised that the Bedford Air Traffic Control tower will provide ATC services during the overnight hours 2300-0700, this Sunday night, after the Super Bowl.

Additional Airport Operations staff will be on hand to support the increased aircraft arrivals.

(usually the tower is closed from 11 pm to 7 am)

3 thoughts on “El Chapo’s Temporary Flight Restriction

  1. They also shut down the brooklyn bridge when he travels between the brooklyn courthouse and his abode in lower manhattan. I think they were originally going to do it twice a day during the trial but settled for having him spend weeknights in brooklyn.

  2. > It was 3 degrees on the ramp overnight … kept the plane in their warm maintenance hangar

    Ever read about the Challenger that crashed on takeoff due to wing icing after parking overnight in a warm hangar overnight? The morning had warmed to +3C, so the pilots didn’t de-ice. But the fuel pumped into the Challenger had spent all night at -20C. This cooled the wings enough to form frost on the supercritical airfoil, preventing adequate lift during the ill-fated takeoff.

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