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AOPA pressing for answers, procedures for moving 'trapped' VFR aircraftAOPA pressing for answers, procedures for moving 'trapped' VFR aircraft

Now that the FAA has reopened the nation's airspace to some VFR operations, AOPA is pressing for answers about the restrictions that still remain in place. Flight training is still prohibited, and VFR flight is not permitted in "enhanced" Class B airspace surrounding the 30 busiest airports in the United States.

AOPA's top priorities now are to get relief for VFR pilots whose aircraft are trapped on the ground inside enhanced Class B airspace and to get approval for the resumption of at least some flight training activities.

AOPA's airports staff has determined that there are some 41,800 general aviation aircraft based on 282 airports inside the 30 enhanced Class B airspace areas. Those aircraft would normally account for some 21 million operations a year. There are also numerous transient aircraft also "trapped" at these airports, unable to fly home VFR.

Today AOPA is discussing with the FAA procedures for relocating aircraft grounded inside the DCA and JFK TFRs. Those temporary flight restrictions prohibit all Part 91 IFR and VFR general aviation flights within 25 nautical miles of the Washington, D.C., and New York JFK VORs.

Also under discussion are relocation procedures for VFR aircraft inside the other enhanced Class B areas.

The association is working the flight service stations to coordinate and standardize messages to pilots, so that pilots get the same answer from every briefer.

AOPA is also asking the FAA for a clear definition of what flight training activities are prohibited. AOPA members have already asked, for example, if a flight review for a certificated pilot (such as a BFR or instrument proficiency check) is "flight training." What about student cross-country solos? Touch and goes in the pattern by either a student or certificated pilot? Practice maneuvers? AOPA will post the FAA's answers as soon as they are available and will make sure the flight service stations also know the official line from FAA headquarters.

AOPA is now working to get approval for the resumption of flight training.

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