Obama visit Thursday restricts Southern Maine flight traffic

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AUBURN — President Barack Obama’s planned campaign visit to Maine in support of gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud will restrict air traffic around Maine for five hours Thursday afternoon.

The president is scheduled to speak at a rally at the Portland Exposition Center.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an order Wednesday restricting flights for 12 nautical miles around Portland between 3:15 and 8:15 p.m. Thursday. Restrictions include the area from ground level up to 17,999 feet in the air.

Only law enforcement, air ambulance flights, military and Secret Service and specially registered passenger and cargo flights will be allowed through that area.

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Those flights are allowed to take off and land at fields outside the 12 nautical mile ring. 

A range of other kinds of flights, including flight training, aerobatic flight, glider operations, seaplane operations, parachute operations, ultralight and balloon operations, are not allowed within 32 nautical miles of the Portland International Jetport during those five hours.

The Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport is within that zone, according to airport Director Rick Lanman.

“It’s the kind of thing they do for people that rate air space protection, and that’s usually presidential or foreign dignitaries,” Lanman said.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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