President's signature spurs action on airspace restrictions

<BR><SPAN class=twodeck>AOPA interprets procedures for requesting relief</SPAN>

November 20, 2001

The Aviation Security legislation signed by President Bush yesterday allows operators of aircraft affected by the enhanced Class B (ECB) airspace restrictions imposed after September 11 to seek relief from the secretary of Transportation. Relief will automatically be granted 30 days after the request unless an official "notice" is published in the Federal Register before the thirtieth day reimposing the restriction and explaining the reasons for the restriction. (The original House bill specified 10 days. That was changed to 30 days in conference committee as legislators reconciled differences between the House and Senate bills.) Unfortunately, this provision does not apply to temporary flight restriction airspace, including New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston. Independent efforts are continuing for these areas.

"While the FAA is working diligently to remove the restrictions, we are pleased Congress responded by establishing this process for public accountability," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.

Affected operations such as airborne news reporting, banner towing, airborne traffic spotting, VFR instruction in aircraft over certain weights, blimp and airship operations, and Part 91 sightseeing operations will all benefit from submitting their request immediately.

Requests for relief from the ECB restrictions should explain the type of operation, the reason the relief is needed, and the length of time it is needed (including indefinitely). In your request, state "Per Section 146 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, I am requesting relief from the restrictions imposed within enhanced Class B airspace."

Send the request to:

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta
Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20590

E-mail: dot.comments@ost.dot.gov
Phone: 202/366-1111
Fax: 202/366-7202