After meeting with AOPA legislative affairs staff yesterday, lifelong GA advocate Rep. James Hansen (R-Utah) sent a letter to the director of Homeland Security, Governor Tom Ridge, requesting that GA air transportation access be taken into account in the security plan for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. "While I clearly recognize the need for protecting athletes and spectators during this unique event, it is imperative that those who use aviation as a means of travel within Utah are able to operate during this special time." The SFRA establishes a 45-nm area of restricted airspace around Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) beginning on February 8 and lasting through the duration of the games until February 24, 2002.
Despite the fact that the FAA has already issued the special flight rules, Rep. Hansen wrote that he hopes his recommendations for GA access will still be taken into account and that the FAA will "establish 'gateway airports' that are closer in proximity to Salt Lake City than those that are currently designated as 'gateway airports.' To accomplish this, the FAA should amend the 45-mile Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) area to allow Provo Airport to be used as a 'gateway airport' to the South and Brigham City Airport to the North." AOPA, in its efforts to secure the addition of these two airports to those being used as gateway airports, continues to work with congressional representatives in hopes of securing a last-minute change before the rules go into effect.