The FAA has taken one small step toward providing graphical TFRs to pilots. Recognizing the value of showing, as well as telling, pilots where they may not fly, the FAA is now posting graphical depictions of four of some 35 national security temporary flight restriction (TFR) notams on its Web site.
"We've been pushing for this for over two years," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs, "so we're happy to see that the FAA finally buys into the concept. Now they need to make graphical depictions of all TFRs readily available to pilots and flight service station briefers."
AOPA has lobbied the FAA at all levels, from Administrator Jane Garvey on down, for graphical notams. The association even went to Congress to secure funding for the FAA to develop graphical notams.
AOPA has felt so strongly about the need for graphical depictions of TFRs that the association has been providing them on its Web site since November of last year. And when the FAA issued a last-minute TFR over New York City for the fourth of July, AOPA staff came in on their vacation time to create a graphic to show pilots the restricted area.
"The proliferation of security TFRs since the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the dire consequences for pilots who violate them, has made the need for depictions even more critical," said Cebula. "The FAA must work aggressively to get graphical TFRs into the hands of users as soon as possible."