Traffic delays, road restrictions expected for Obama visit Friday

President Barack Obama’s visit Friday and Saturday won’t only affect those of us who travel by car, his swing through the city will also cause interruptions in the sky.

Obama is scheduled to land at McCarran International Airport between 5 and 6 p.m. Friday and ground traffic will be subject to periodic delays until 8 p.m. as the president’s motorcade travels in the area. Air Force One is scheduled to depart Las Vegas about 10 a.m. Saturday. Again, traffic in the neighborhood of the airport will be subject to delays between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m..

Shortly after touching down in Las Vegas, the president will be speaking at Orr Middle School Park on Katie Avenue. The school is off Maryland Parkway behind the Boulevard Mall, so avoid those streets in the late afternoon.

Although the Secret Service never reveals the president’s exact route, airport officials anticipate the airport connector tunnel closing briefly at some point during those windows of time.

Passengers whose flights depart Las Vegas during those windows time should arrive to McCarran two hours before takeoff. Passengers, and motorists picking up travelers, are advised to access the airport by taking Tropicana Avenue to Paradise Road.

Commercial flights are not expected to be delayed significantly by the visit. Flights arriving and leaving Las Vegas are halted for a few minutes before Air Force One touches down and a few minutes after it departs. Those hoping to catch a glimpse of the president’s airplane will not be able to do so from the Sunset Road viewing area; that parking lot will be closed during the times Obama is near the airport.

Temporary flight restrictions for private aircraft will be in place in and around Las Vegas between 5 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Only airlines, military aircraft and emergency aircraft will be allowed within a 10-mile radius of McCarran during that time.

Pilots wishing to fly through airspace 10 miles to 30 miles from the airport must have pre-approved flight paths, must be talking to air traffic controllers and must be using transponders, according to the FAA.

Operators of helicopter tour companies said they were told that their aircraft will be prohibited from flying from 4 p.m. Friday until 11 a.m. Saturday.

Contact reporter Adrienne Packer at apacker@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2904.

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