The FAA intends to impose 30-mile-radius temporary flight restriction areas (TFRs) around the scenes of the September 11 attacks on the anniversary of those attacks. In a meeting yesterday afternoon with AOPA staff and other industry representatives, the FAA announced its intention to impose the 30-mile "no-fly" zones around New York City, Washington, D.C., and Somerset, Pennsylvania, for several hours on September 11. The TFRs, which would extend from the surface to 18,000 feet, would prohibit general aviation (Part 91) flights, charter (Part 135) flights, and foreign air carrier operations.
In addition, another TFR would prohibit general aviation aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds from flying within 30 nautical miles of New York City for three days—September 11 through 13. AOPA has already appealed to the Transportation Security Administration seeking fair treatment for smaller GA aircraft.
"We don't want a repeat of the post-September 11 situation last year when smaller aircraft were unfairly singled out for restrictions," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We are hopeful that the FAA will make changes accommodating the concerns of general aviation pilots before issuing the notam later this week."
The three-day New York TFR is apparently intended to protect September 11 ceremonies and a United Nations General Assembly meeting. Although small GA aircraft would be prohibited, aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds would be permitted to fly within the TFR if operating on an IFR flight plan to a towered airport.