Olympic TFR affects U.S., Canadian airports

January 28, 2010

Even though the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games are in British Columbia, Canada, pilots flying in the Northwest will have to work around a temporary flight restriction (TFR) in place from Jan. 29 through March 25.

Flight restrictions in place in Canada for the games extend into the Seattle, Wash., area and extend from the surface up to 17,999 feet msl.

Because of the lengthy duration, AOPA worked with the FAA to ease the restrictions for pilots flying to and from the U.S. airports impacted by the TFR. Pilots flying in and out of the TFR need to file a VFR or IFR flight plan, be in two-way communication with ATC, and squawk a discrete transponder code. However, those arriving or departing Meadow Mist Airport (WN35) and Waldronaire Airport (90WA) within the TFR do not need to file a flight plan; they can simply squawk 1201 for WN35 and 1204 for 90WA. Pilots flying into airports bordering the TFR also must squawk a transponder code specific to that airport but need not file a flight plan. For details on flying in the TFR and which airports require specific transponder codes, see the notam.

“This is another example of the progress the FAA and AOPA are making in allowing pilots to still have access to airspace when TFRs are in effect for extended periods of time,” said Brittney Miculka, AOPA manager of security. “The discrete transponder codes in place of filing a flight plan to fly out of certain airports will greatly reduce the hassle for pilots flying at those airports.”

The FAA encourages pilots who are flying into Canada to submit their Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) manifest 24 hours in advance of their departure to avoid delays in receiving approval for their outbound flight. Pilots also should review the restrictions issued by Canada. The most up-to-date information on Canadian restrictions is available online from NavCanada and the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit Registration & Flight Authorization Web site.