Solar Eclipse 2024: FAA issues travel warning as stargazers prepare for April 8

As a total solar eclipse called – ‘The Great North American Eclipse’ – is set to occur over parts of North America, the US civil aviation regulatory authority has issued a travel warning.

Notably, during a total solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Sun and Earth. During this phenomenon, the Moon casts a shadow on the Earth’s surface and temporarily blocks out the sun’s light. Because of this, the sky darkens and the sun’s corona becomes visible which causes a visually appealing sight for the skygazers.

Keeping the situation in mind for April 8, the day of the total solar eclipse, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has predicted an uptick in the air traffic. This is also because of the bustling chaos of spring break as families will be flocking to their holiday destinations.

FAA is anticipating that on coming Thursday (April 4), the traffic will rise with 50,670 flights. Moreover, 48,904 flights are expected to cover the skies on Friday (April 5), as per FAA.

However, vacationers are not only jetting off to sandy beaches or other vacation spots for spring break but many are also travelling to witness the spectacle of ‘The Great North American Eclipse’ slated for April 8.

The total solar eclipse will be visible from various locations across North America and generate interest among astronomers, and the general public. The event will draw crowds to locations within the eclipse’s path of totality so that individuals who take an interest in this cosmic phenomenon can get a chance to witness it firsthand.

But just as the excitement is soaring there are also concerns for those travelling along its path.

Potential delays are expected as airports brace for an influx of aircraft and drones eager to witness the total solar eclipse. FAA also flagged that there could be an issue of limited parking for travelers.

“The FAA wants pilots to be aware of possible impacts to air traffic and airports along the eclipse path and is offering guidance to commercial planes and private aircraft ahead of their flights to witness the phenomenon,” FAA said in a press release.

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