July 18, 2003
Security restrictions for President Bush have created a "perfect storm" over Texas this weekend: four 30-nm-radius temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), two of which overlap in time and airspace, in a 24-hour period. These TFRs impact 70 Texas airports.
"President Bush is a pilot. It's time he understood what his security detail is doing to fellow pilots," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Presidential security personnel have only one constituent: the President himself. But Mr. Bush has millions of constituents, and now is the time for him to hear from them."
AOPA is urging any pilot who is affected by this weekend's TFRs to write to President Bush and let him know how his security arrangements have impacted your flight.
"Don't send an e-mail," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula. "It might as well be junk mail. Send a letter. In Washington, a piece of paper carries a lot more weight." The White House address is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500.
During his weekend at the ranch, Bush is going to make two side trips to Dallas and Houston. Besides what have become the usual restrictions for pilots in the Crawford area, the TFR in Dallas and two in Houston are going to cause massive headaches for Texas pilots. Scores of airports are impacted ( see list below) and the inner-ring dimensions are different for each of the TFRs.
"Today it's Texas. Tomorrow it's wherever the next stop on the campaign trail is. General aviation is not a threat to the President or anyone else in America. It never was," said Boyer. "It's time for the President's security personnel to stop treating GA pilots like criminal suspects. Now."
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