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9/11 TFR plans uncertain9/11 TFR plans uncertain

Thursday afternoon government officials were hotly debating the scope of temporary flight restriction (TFR) areas around Washington, D.C., New York City, and Somerset, Pennsylvania—scenes of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Proposals announced earlier this week may change.

On Tuesday, the FAA told AOPA that it was going to impose TFRs around the sites of the September 11 attacks. The TFRs would be active around the times of scheduled observances on the anniversary of the attacks. Each TFR would extend for 30 nm from each site and extend from the surface to 18,000 feet. The TFRs would prohibit general aviation (Part 91) flights, charter (Part 135) flights, and foreign air carrier operations. Another TFR would prohibit general aviation aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds from flying within 30 nm of New York City for three days, September 11-13.

AOPA went to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), questioning why small GA aircraft were being singled out in the absence of any specific security threat. AOPA suggested procedures that would allow GA aircraft to fly in the New York area while satisfying the security agencies' concerns.

"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 have supplied information to TSA supporting our request."

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