January 29, 2004
Jan. 29, 2004 - AOPA President Phil Boyer yesterday personally thanked Washington Senator Patty Murray for her intervention to get the Navy to reduce the size of the temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) hampering GA flight in the Puget Sound area.
"At the request of AOPA and our Washington State members, Sen. Murray took a lead role in pressuring the Navy to justify the need for the four TFRs," said Boyer. "And the fact that TFRs were changed during a 'code orange' alert level demonstrates the power of members of Congress acting on behalf of their constituents." Sen. Murray, the ranking Democrat on the transportation appropriations subcommittee, worked in concert with three other members of the Washington delegation, Sen. Maria Cantwell and Representatives Rick Larsen and Jennifer Dunn.
Boyer told Murray that the changes had solved many of the operational issues confronting pilots. "Feedback from AOPA members has been mostly positive," said Boyer. "But we still want to continue to hear from pilots about any remaining issues." (Pilots can e-mail their comments to DODTFRS@aopa.org.)
Boyer said that AOPA's goal is still to eliminate the TFRs. And he noted that AOPA had identified problems with the new, smaller TFRs, including the ILS 19 approach into Bremerton National Airport (PWT), the traffic pattern at Apex Airport (WA05), and the low-level flyway along the Hood Canal.
"Sen. Murray was very aware of these problems," said Boyer, "and she pledged her continued help. She clearly had read and understood the communications from area pilots."
"Washington State pilots really owe thanks to their congressional delegation who went to bat for their constituents and help restore airspace for general aviation."
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