Flying in “Chicagoland” will become severely restricted for many aviators due to an upcoming NATO Summit meeting scheduled for later this month. The summit and the associated temporary flight restriction (TFR), in what is labeled as National Defense Airspace, will be in place from May 19 to 21. The meetings will be held at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago, next to the old Meigs Field.
In its Flight Advisory about the NATO Summit, the FAA outlined potential actions against pilots who don’t comply with the airspace restrictions. The least provocative move against erring aviators includes possible suspension or revocation of an airman certificate and a fine. But penalties become more severe depending on where an aircraft violates the protected airspace.
The TFR defines a 10-nautical-mile inner core around downtown Chicago and a 30-nautical-mile ring of restricted airspace, both from the surface to 18,000 feet. For entering the more restrictive inner core without approval, the government might also pursue criminal charges.
Even more concerning, however, the FAA’s brief says that in some cases, “The U.S. Government may use deadly force against an airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.”
Scheduled air carrier service will not be affected.