August 15, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
AOPA is urging the FAA to apply commonsense enforcement to the complex, “rolling” temporary flight restriction now in effect during a three-day, three-state bus tour by President Barack Obama.
Pilots were cautioned to be prepared for more of the complex TFRs to be ordered on short notice as campaigning becomes active in advance of the 2012 presidential election.
AOPA has communicated its concerns to the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) about the TFR that will affect flight operations from Minneapolis, Minn., to Davenport, Iowa, through Aug. 17. The tour will also include campaigning in Illinois.
Even pilots with the most complete and recent briefings could be vulnerable to an inadvertent airspace violation resulting from delays or sudden changes to the presidential ground route of travel. Given the complexities involved, AOPA has appealed to the agencies for a commonsense approach to enforcing compliance with the TFR, which covers different portions of the route at different times.
“Moving TFRs of this nature are extremely confusing, and may fluctuate greatly from the published notam,” said Tom Zecha, AOPA manager of aviation security. “As campaigning for the presidential election gains momentum, these moving TFRs will increase in frequency throughout the country over the next year.”
Members are encouraged to report any problems or violations resulting from this moving TFR to AOPA, he said.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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