AOPA questions "permanent" TFR, possible prohibited area over St. Michaels, Maryland, for Cheney

November 23, 2005

AOPA questions "permanent" TFR, possible prohibited area over St. Michaels, Maryland, for Cheney

At the request of security officials, the FAA has issued a temporary flight restriction (TFR) over St. Michaels, Maryland, because Vice President Dick Cheney is buying a home in the area. However, unlike the TFRs over the vice president's residence in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this TFR will be in effect all the time, even when Cheney is not visiting. And the FAA has indicated to AOPA that the agency will be working on establishing a prohibited area over the Maryland residence.

"Prohibited airspace has not been established at any of the vice president's temporary or private residencies outside of Washington, D.C.," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The time-limited TFRs that Cheney receives when he travels or stays at Jackson Hole provide adequate security. AOPA will fight any attempt to establish a prohibited area for a vice president's private property."

The 1-nautical-mile-radius TFR extends up to 1,500 feet agl and abuts the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). The TFR went into effect at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning and will remain in effect "until further notice" regardless of whether the vice president is present.

"This TFR further complicates the restrictive airspace around the nation's capital and creates one more obstacle that pilots have to watch for instead of focusing solely on flying their aircraft," Boyer said. "And it defies common sense. Why create an indefinite 'TFR' or prohibited area near highly secured airspace when the vice president doesn't receive that treatment at his other private homes?"

Typical vice presidential travel-related TFRs are limited to the times Cheney will be in the area and cover a 3-nm radius and extend to 3,000 feet agl.

November 23, 2005