Exxon Manages No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Oil Spill

by L J Furman, MBA on April 16, 2013

in Connecting the Dots, Disaster Accountability Project, Disasters

No Fly Zone over Mayflower, Arkansas

No Fly Zone over Mayflower, Arkansas

An Exxon pipe leaked, flooding 500,000 gallons of crude oil onto Mayflower, Arkansas. Exxon is in charge of a No Fly Zone in the vicinity of the spill.

  1. Do independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon’s permission?
  2. Why Is Exxon Controlling the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill?
  3. Because it wants to? Because it can?

Because … the FAA put an Exxon employee in charge of a  no-fly zone over Exxon’s latest oil spill.

Contact the FAA at (866) 835-5322 and the White House  at (202) 456-1111 to ask Why is an oil company managing a no-fly-zone over an oil spill it caused? Why is a publicly traded for-profit oil company that caused an oil spill managing air traffic in the vicinity of the oil spill?

RT’s Marina Portnaya reports on Youtube, “Media Grounded: No-fly zone over Arkansas oil spill to censor news coverage?  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has imposed an indefinite no-fly zone over an area in Arkansas recently affected by an oil spill. It’s sparked concern that the Exxon Mobil oil company may be trying to keep the TV cameras away from the scene.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had a “no fly zone” in place in Mayflower, Arkansas since April 1 at 2:12 PM. This “no fly zone” will be in place “until further notice,” according to the FAA and it’s being overseen by Exxon Mobil itself.

The rules of engagement for the no fly zone dictate that no aircraft can fly within 1,000 feet of the ground in the five-mile radius surrounding the ExxonMobil Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill. The area located within this radius includes the nearby Pine Village Airport.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette revealed that the FAA site noted earlier today that “only relief aircraft operations under direction of Tom Suhrhoff” were allowed within the designated no fly zone.

Suhrhoff is not an FAA employee: he works for ExxonMobil as an “Aviation Advisor“ and formerly worked as a U.S. Army pilot for 24 years, according to his LinkedIn page.
Lynn Lunsford, an FAA spokesman, told Dow Jones a no fly zone was issued because ”at least one” helicopter was needed to move clean-up crews around, as well as to spot oil that can’t be seen from the ground.

“The pilot of the helicopter needs to be able to move about freely without potential conflicts with other aircraft,” he told Dow Jones.

This also means press is prohibited from the area, though Lunsford told Dow Jones that the FAA “is in the process of amending the restriction to allow news media aircraft into the area.”

When will news media be allowed back into the designated no fly zone area? That portion of the question was either never asked by Dow Jones or never answered by Lunsford.
This comes one day after Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said his office would be opening an investigation into the incident. It also comes one day after federal pipeline regulators barred ExxonMobil from restarting the pipeline until it receives close inspection.

It appears the Pegasus spill is becoming the BP Gulf oil disaster take two, with the responsible polluter running every step of the show.

Stephen Colbert, Ron Paul, Leaksource and the Huffington Post covered the issue.

Stephen Colbert, Stephen Colbert Highlights DeSmog’s Exxon Arkansas Tar Sands Spill No Fly Zone Investigation

Ron Paul Forums: FAA NO FLY ZONE over Arkansas Exxon Mobil Pipeline Spill

Leaksource: Keystoned? Exxon under fire as 10k barrels of oil spills on streets, floods Arkansas town

Huffington Post: Exxon Hides The Skies

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