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This question is somewhat related to this other one.

I listened to this exchange between a helicopter and Newark.

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 16 down vote accepted

According to the post at LiveATC, Newark was closed, apparently due to smoke in the tower. With the airport closed, nobody could be granted clearance to take off or land.

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, but otherwise, 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.

Eight miles south of Newark is Linden Airport, a small uncontrolled field just outside the Class B surface area. If I had passengers in my ship who were trying to fly out of Newark, I would have radioed operations and asked them to send a limo to Linden to pick up my passengers.

[There is one part of the recording that says "[inaudible]". The pilot is announcing his position at the Statue of Liberty, a reporting point for copters landing EWR.]

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