December 4, 2007
AOPA ePublishing Staff
By AOPA ePublishing staff
If you inadvertently run into a temporary flight restriction (TFR), you could still be escorted from the area by a military aircraft and face FAA certificate action, but you won’t face criminal penalties.
Because of a change in wording in security notams, AOPA had feared that the FAA would seek criminal penalties against anyone who violated a TFR—even if the incursion was accidental—and called on the FAA to clarify its intentions.
FAA Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell has set the record straight.
In a Nov. 26 letter to AOPA President Phil Boyer, Sturgell wrote, “I want to reassure you that pilots who commit inadvertent violations of TFRs protecting security airspace are not subject to criminal charges and fines under 49 U.S.C. 46307. The FAA will refer to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution only TFR violations of National Defense Airspace that involve Knowing or willful conduct.”
Sturgell explained that enforcement actions for unintentional TFR incursions have not changed much since 2002 and that criminal penalties have always been a possibility for those who knowingly or willfully violate a TFR.
“Pilots who perform detailed preflights and check notams multiple times before they take off can still be caught by a last-minute pop-up TFR along their route,” said Boyer. “We’re pleased that the FAA won’t seek criminal penalties against these pilots.”
December 4, 2007
FAA Systems and Airspace,
Pilot Skip Gibbs regularly uses his Bonanza A36 to bring medical volunteers and supplies to remote areas of Mexico. Just before sunset, Gibbs was flying to the historic city of El Fuerte in the state of Sinaloa where LIGA International Flying Doctors of Mercy has been doing good works since 1934.
Roscoe Morton, long the lead voice of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s summer celebrations, honored as the “essence of EAA,” has died.
NextGen was intended to improve access and efficiency in the nation’s busiest airspace. But two new RNAV terminal routes proposed west of Washington, D.C.’s, Class B airspace do just the opposite.