Governor Tom Ridge
Director, Office of Homeland Security
800 Independence Avenue
Washington, DC 20591
Dear Governor Ridge:
While the federal government has finalized its plans for ensuring security for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games being held in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area, I believe it is important that issues of general aviation air transportation access be reconsidered. I clearly recognize the need for protecting athletes and spectators during this unique event, but it is imperative that those who use aviation as a means of travel within Utah are able to operate during this special time.
To accommodate general aviation air transportation access, and to provide operational efficiency, the FAA should establish "gateway airports" that are closer in proximity to Salt Lake City than those that are currently designated as gateway airports. To accomplish this, the FAA should amend the 45-mile temporary flight restriction (TFR) area to allow Provo Airport to be used as a gateway airport to the south and Brigham City Airport to the north. This would accommodate those general aviation operations not associated with Olympic event attendance while maintaining the strict security procedures that are essential for the success of the Olympic Games.
General aviation plays a vital economic role in my home state of Utah. In some cases, general aviation is the only form of transportation that allows ranchers, miners, and others from the Salt Lake City area to access remote lands efficiently. It is crucial that they be able to conduct business in the state of Utah during this special time. I believe that the suggestions I have made a reasonable ones that should have been implemented during the original rulemaking process. If you have any questions on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.
James V. Hansen
Member of Congress
January 16, 2002