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This question is somewhat related to this other one.

I listened to this exchange between a helicopter and Newark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHNvXPbZ7WI

The helicopter wants to land at Newark. The controller tells the helicopter to remain clear of the Class B. I'm aware that the controllers must give clearance to operate in certain classes of airspace, and the helicopter wasn't granted clearance to do so.

Why was the helicopter denied (as far as can be deduced)?

What should the pilot have done differently, either to get clearance to land at Newark or to anticipate not being able to?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 12 down vote accepted

According to the post at LiveATC, Newark was closed, apparently due to smoke in the tower. With the tower closed, nobody could be granted clearance to take off or land. I imagine that the helicopter was speaking to an approach controller rather than someone in the tower.

Outside of declaring an emergency, there's nothing the pilot(s) could have done to get clearance at Newark other than just waiting. In an emergency situation like smoke in the tower, there wouldn't be anything published beforehand for the pilots to look up.

In general, pilots look at NOTAMS during their flight-planning for planned closures or outages. Even in good weather, proper flight planning would also involve an alternate airport, anticipating the possibility that the intended airport might be closed for an emergency like this.

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