Yesterday, in response to the recent FBI security alert warning, FAA Administrator Jane Garvey issued a memorandum warning of potential terrorist activity and outlining airfield and aircraft security guidance. This notice from the agency offers insight into the FAA action, explaining that this threat prompted the FAA to establish flight restrictions near nuclear facilities that resulted in the grounding of aircraft at nearly 500 airports.
Directed to all public-use airports, the memorandum warns of "possible terrorist attacks against U.S. targets" and that the FAA believes the restrictions are necessary to prevent unscheduled operations and reduce the number of aircraft in these areas, should an active air defense response be necessary.
"Clearly pilots would not want to be in the way should action be taken against an aircraft," stated President Phil Boyer. "However, the notam is penalizing pilots all over the country."
The FAA memo does point out that "the action is not directed towards the operators of the affected airports or the people who are based onsite."