July 7, 2003
Admiral James Loy, head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), says his agency and the FAA are taking another look at more than a dozen temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) set up in the name of national security shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks. That follows an AOPA request.
In a June 26 letter, Loy said the two agencies are "conducting a thorough audit" of the 16 TFRs AOPA asked be rescinded "to ensure that they are protecting the public in an efficient, cost-effective manner." AOPA had argued that, with the end of the war in Iraq and the phase-out of Operation Liberty Shield, they were no longer necessary.
"Admiral Loy has shown a real willingness to listen to the concerns of general aviation," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We don't always get what we want, but Admiral Loy always gives us due consideration."
Two of the 16 have already been rescinded (Whiteman AFB, Knob Noster, Mo., and Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, Texas), along with a third that was not on AOPA's original list, in the Class E airspace over Valdez, Alaska.
In his letter to Boyer, Loy said, "Let me assure you that the TSA is aware of the distinct needs of general aviation owners and operators." And he says his agency is willing "to work with general aviation owners, operators, and associations to ensure that aviation security standards respond to the special needs of the general aviation industry."
The letter notes that the audits are continuing. "We'll keep you posted," Loy added in a handwritten note at the bottom.
"We look forward to TSA's findings," said Boyer. "But more than that, we look forward to the day when these near-permanent restrictions are finally rescinded."
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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