The Federal Aviation Administration restricted air traffic around the Area 51 facility ahead of the upcoming “Storm Area 51” event and related festivals in rural Nevada.
On Sept. 16, the FAA put out two notices of “temporary flight restrictions for Special Security Reasons,” according to information on faa.gov The notice includes drone traffic, private pilots and other types of aircraft.
One of the areas under restriction includes an area outside the Nevada National Security Site, from Mercury to beyond Amargosa Valley. That flight restriction, involving Amargosa Valley and Mercury, runs from 7 a.m. on Sept. 18 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 23.
The second notice runs from 12 a.m. on Sept. 19 to 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 22 and involves air space outside the national security site, involving a portion of Lincoln County.
One of the areas being restricted by the FAA includes airspace over where two YouTubers from the Netherlands were arrested. The two men pleaded guilty to trespassing and illegal parking, both misdemeanors, in Beatty Justice Court, and both were sentenced to one year in county jail with all but 10 days suspended. This was on the conditions that they stay away from any events near or related to the Nevada National Security Site and that they not go within 500 yards of the site for the next year.
Both men could face further charges should they violate the terms of a plea agreement, according to information from the Nye County District Attorney’s Office.
According to one of the notices from the FAA, certain aircraft will be allowed into the restricted zones: aircraft working in support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Mission. The other notice stated those aircraft working in support of the U.S. Department of Defense Mission.
All emergency/life saving flight (medical/law enforcement/firefighting) must coordinate with the DOE or with the Nellis Air Traffic Facility, depending on which restricted area the aircraft is crossing, according to information from the FAA’s notices.
The notices come ahead of multiple festivals being held in Hiko and Rachel, both related to the “Storm Area 51” event, which could attract thousands, possibly more, people to the Area 51 military facility in Nevada.
The event stems from a Facebook post created by Matty Roberts. His event, known as “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” attracted more than 2 million people who are seeking out extraterrestrials, believed by many to be housed at the military facility.
The initial event people signed on for was in the early morning hours of Sept. 20.
Since then, Roberts shifted gears and was looking, until recently, to put on a festival known as “Alienstock” in Rachel, Nevada. Roberts, however, pulled out of having the event in Rachel and moved toward having a gathering in downtown Las Vegas.
There are no permitted events planned in Nye County.
Nye County has been operating under a declaration of emergency since the end of August.
According to a Facebook post from Nye County, “The Declaration enables the state to allocate resources to the county as needed while partnering on strategy and tactics.”
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan, Pahrump Valley Times, at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @MeehanLv
A closer look
What does an emergency declaration mean?
The declaration of emergency empowers the county to enact a variety of emergency restrictive measures in order to protect the public. The actions authorized by the declaration may be undertaken by the Nye County Commission or, in the event that the commission is not able to take action in a timely manner, Nye County Manager Tim Sutton may do so. If both Sutton and the commission cannot immediately address a problem that threatens the peace and safety of the public, then Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly will be authorized to act on their behalf.
Emergency orders sanctioned by the declaration include actions such as establishing a curfew, barricading the streets, prohibiting the sale of alcohol, redirecting funds for emergency use and even ordering the closure of all or portion of gas stations and other businesses that sell, distribute or dispose of liquid flammable or combustible products.
— Robin Hebrock, Pahrump Valley Times