Oswego County Promotes Air Traffic Safety Ahead of Solar Eclipse April 8

April 3, 2024

Oswego County reminds drone and aircraft pilots to plan ahead for the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8.

“We all know to expect road traffic congestion on the day of the eclipse, but we are also anticipating a high volume of air traffic as well,” said Oswego County Airport Manager Brandon Schwerdt. “To better ensure public safety in these circumstances, the county airport will be closed to motor vehicle traffic and the general public for eclipse viewing.”

Other precautions include closing Runway 06-24 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST on April 8 and designating separate parking areas for smaller and larger aircraft. Airport staff are also working directly with pilots to facilitate orderly arrivals and departures on the day of the eclipse.

Oswego County Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Coordinator John McGraw reminds drone pilots about air traffic issues as well.

“We will have several first responder drones in the air on April 8 to carefully monitor traffic patterns and respond to any situations that may develop on our roadways,” said McGraw. “These drones put us in a better position to help in other ways as well, such as in the event of a lost person or child.”

All recreational and commercial drone pilots are encouraged to check with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for any posted Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) or Notices to Air Missions (NOTAMs) that may be on file for the area where they are looking to fly. Find them online at https://www.faa.gov/uas.

The B4UFLY app is another resource for operators to check airspace and local advisories before taking flight.

“We are all sharing the same airspace and it will likely be very crowded on April 8,” McGraw added. “We just want to make sure that all drone operators are aware of where and when other drones will be in the area to avoid any issues.”

The total eclipse will be viewable throughout Oswego County, with start and end times varying by location. Generally, it begins shortly after 2 p.m., with totality between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m., and concludes shortly after 4:30 p.m.

Those traveling to Oswego County for the event are encouraged to come early and stay late to avoid peak traffic congestion.

For more information, aircraft pilots and fly-in visitors can call the Oswego County Airport at 315-591-9130 and drone operators can call 315-532-8900.

For eclipse details, go to Oswego County Tourism’s eclipse webpage at https://visitoswegocounty.com/eclipse/.