The government quickly backed off plans to ban foreign air carrier flights near the sites of the September 11 attacks, but it is still considering imposing TFRs that would restrict general aviation activities.
Press reports say the Bush administration dropped the foreign air carrier restrictions yesterday afternoon, conceding they would probably be illegal. And the Associated Press reported that Homeland Security spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the government had no specific information suggesting that terrorists were planning to target any of the events commemorating September 11.
"In the absence of any specific threats, we can't understand why general aviation is still being singled out," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "American general aviation pilots would expect to get at least as much consideration as foreign airlines."
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 through 13.
Government security and transportation officials are still discussing the TFR proposals. A final decision is not likely before Tuesday afternoon.