The National Security Council (NSC) met again last night at 5 p.m. EDT to consider VFR flight operations, but it made no decisions. VFR flight still is prohibited except in Alaska and with a few exceptions noted below. The NSC is supposed to discuss VFR flight again today. AOPA is in direct communication with the senior FAA officials who are in those NSC meetings. AOPA has given those officials all of the information about the impact the VFR ban is having on general aviation. AOPA has also offered plans for restarting VFR flight operations. AOPA President Phil Boyer is also talking personally to Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and FAA Administrator Jane Garvey almost daily, again reiterating the message that VFR general aviation operations are an important part of the national transportation system.
The FAA has issued an amended notam that now permits some photo missions to circle VFR, provided that the flight begins and ends on an IFR flight plan, and the photo activity remains clear of Class B airspace, temporary flight restrictions, and other restricted airspace. Certain medevac and other emergency VFR flights are also permitted, along with Part 137 agricultural operations outside of Class B airspace. Pilots must obtain and understand the most current notams. Pilots are again warned: VFR flight is prohibited. Fighter aircraft will intercept any civilian aircraft that takes off without an IFR flight plan, a discrete beacon code, and ATC clearance.