While, for the most part, ATC is still in operation, anticipated strikes are expected to soon change that. As such, the FAA has announced new Bravo airspace clearance procedures for pilots during the government shutdown.
Beginning January 19, 2019, pilots are expected to use the following language format to gain and maintain Bravo clearance –
Pilot: Approach, Cherokee 111 alpha alpha, 3,000 feet, clearing through bravo
Pilot: Cleared through bravo, 1 alpha alpha
Once Bravo clearance has been properly established, pilots can pretty much do whatever they want in the airspace, including, but not limited to, buzzing the tower when in range. Pilots can also tune to 121.5 and say, “On guard!” as much as they want and laugh like it’s original.
Additionally, with the eight hour “bottle to throttle” rule not currently being enforced, pilots are welcome to bring a flask on-board to calm their nerves as needed. After all, Bravo airspace can be a bit intense!
While expected to strictly adhere to these new procedures, the FAA’s skeleton crew, which is actually just one man – a privately contracted maintenance guy, Walter – assures pilots that they will not be given any numbers to call if they fail to do so.
“There’s no one here to fucking call!” Walter laughed, pounding a beer and kicking the empty can down the hall.
“Check this out,” he said, belching an echo.
Walter then proceeded to urinate on the FAA Administrator’s door. While Aviation Daily does not condone such actions, we did get a nice chuckle and enjoyed some beers with Walter. That guy has some stories!
Anyway, pilots must adhere to these new guidelines until the government reopens. Or not. Do whatever.