AOPA staff participated in an FAA briefing this afternoon where the agency announced its intention to impose 30-mile no-fly zones in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Somerset, Pennsylvania, for several hours on September 11. These apply to all general aviation, Part 135 on-demand air charter operations, and foreign air carrier operations from the surface up to FL180.
However, due to security concerns related to a joint session of Congress and a United Nations General Assembly meeting along with the 9/11 ceremonies in New York City, the FAA also announced that general aviation aircraft under 12,500 pounds will also be prohibited from September 11-13. Only those aircraft above 12,500 pounds on an IFR flight plan operating at a towered airport in the 30-mile area will be allowed to operate.
Immediately after the briefing, AOPA staff made contact with the Transportation Security Administration to advocate for fair treatment of smaller general aviation aircraft. "We don't want a repeat of the post-9/11 situation last year where smaller aircraft were unfairly singled out for restrictions," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We are hopeful that changes accommodating these concerns will be made prior to a notam being issued later this week."