March 26, 2024

Solar Eclipse Information for Flight Crews

8 April 2024 Eclipse Path of Totality (Graphic credit: NASA)

On Monday, April 8, a total solar eclipse will be visible from Mexico to Eastern Canada. Eclipse start times will run from around mid-day local time in Mexico to late afternoon local time in Newfoundland. ALPA spoke with NASA in advance of the similar eclipse in 2017 and assembled guidance for pilots who may be in the flight path of the eclipse as it occurs.

Eclipse guidance for flight crews:

  • Advise passengers not to look directly at the eclipse.
  • Do not make any maneuvers to assist in viewing the eclipse.
  • During the eclipse period, expect darkening of sky and nighttime landing conditions during totality within the path of totality. Just before and after totality or outside the path, expect dusk/dawn-like conditions to dark overcast-like conditions. Be vigilant and ask that airport lighting and other nighttime visual aids be turned on during low ambient light conditions.
  • Airports within and near the path of totality will likely experience heavier than normal traffic, including general aviation traffic. Low altitude UAS activity may also be heavier than usual.
  • Work with flight dispatch to obtain information on any ATC restrictions on April 8.

FAA has published a Domestic Notice outlining potential ATC and operational impacts during the event. Further information can be found on the NASA website.

If you have any questions, please contact ALPA’s Engineering & Air Safety Department at 800-424-2470 or ALPA thanks NASA for their assistance in assembling this guidance.