Regional Issues - Southeast Region

Bookmark and Share

Thanksgiving Weekend Military Exercise Likely to Increase Air Traffic Delays Around Florida

November 18, 2013

The U.S. Navy is conducting a pre-deployment Composite Training Unit Exercise (COM2X) along the Southeast Atlantic Coast between Nov. 6 and Dec. 18. Combined with the expected Thanksgiving holiday traffic, moderate to excessive delays are possible for flights operating in or through this airspace during the Thanksgiving week/weekend.

The exercise – which will result in the activation of most East Coast warning areas and several military operations areas (MOA's) and special-use airspace areas (SUAs) throughout Jacksonville, FL and Miami Centers' Airspace – is necessary to certify the carrier wing for deployment.

Operational Impacts of COM2X

  • Airways AR6 and AR15 will NOT be available to Orlando International Airport (MCO), Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) area airports at various times due to active military airspace. This will push most traffic to these airports onto the inland routes.
  • Most east coast warning areas will be active without the expectation of release areas.
  • The proximity of SUA's and MOA's utilized during this operation to Ormond Beach VOR (OMN), during this high volume season have a direct impact on east coast traffic in and out of the Orlando (MCO) and Daytona Beach (DAB) complexes as well as traffic transitioning into and out of Miami Center's (ZMA) airspace.
  • Various reroutes - Playbook Routes - will be issued by the ATC System Command Center.
  • Capping / tunneling may be utilized to mitigate airspace constraints, volume and complexity.
  • Aircraft may encounter vectoring, speed control and fix balancing off-loads with greater frequency than normal.
  • Mile-in-trail (MIT) assistance will be required for Miami (ZMA), Atlanta (ZTL) and Washington (ZDC) Centers.
  • Traffic management initiatives including ground stops, airspace flow programs, expanded MIT, and airborne holding are additional tools that may be necessary during high volume periods.

Jacksonville Center (ZJX) System Impact Report (21 KB, PDF)

Miami Center (ZMA) System Impact Report (25 KB, PDF)

During the Thanksgiving week, operators can expect activation of the following Warning Areas and SUAs on the specified dates:

November 26
W132, W133, W134, W157, W158, W159, W161, W177 and all TAILHOOK AIRSPACE.
November 27
W157, W158, W159, PALATKA MOA'S, TAILHOOK AIRSPACE, CAPE Stack ALTRV and other associated ALTRVS.
November 28
TAILHOOK AIRSPACE, CAPE Stack ALTRV
November 29
R2901 Complex / PLACID East / PLACID West / PLACID North / FINSS ALTRV / Crystal Air Refueling
December 01
W157, W158, W159, PALATKA MOA'S, CAPE Stack ALTRV and other associated ALTRV'S.
December 02
R2901 Complex / PLACID East / PLACID West / PLACID North / FINSS ALTRV / Crystal Air Refueling

Operators should note that schedule for these military operations is subject to change.

Operators should check KZMA/KZJX NOTAMS and the FAA Special Use Airspace Web Site for Warning Area and military airspace activation times.

Special Use Airspace Areas with Associated Air Traffic Restrictions

TAILHOOK A-F ATCAAs

  • AR6 & AR15 closed into the MCO and TPA terminal airports

CAPE Stack ALTRV

  • Altitude capping and tunneling south of Orlando

R2901 Complex / PLACID East / PLACID West / PLACID North / FINSS ALTRV / Crystal Air Refueling

  • SHFTY Arrival closed (into RSW, FMY, APF and MKY) reroute to TYNEE/ZEILR/PIKKR/JOSFF Arrivals
  • FMYDT (MCO southwest departure gate) closed
  • Altitude capping and tunneling south of Orlando

Valuable FAA Resources During the COM2X Exercise

Current FAA Reroutes List

Current FAA Advisories Database

FAA National Operational Information System

FAA National Severe Weather Playbook Routes Database