With the recent, highly publicized airspace violations near the White House and Camp David fresh in the public's memory, the FAA is sending a strongly worded letter to pilots reminding them of the obligation to avoid temporary flight restrictions.
"Staying out of restricted airspace is ultimately the pilot's responsibility," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Even filing an IFR flight plan or following air traffic vectors does not relieve the pilot of that responsibility. But as this letter points out, the FAA is also stressing to its flight service station briefers the importance of relaying timely and correct information." AOPA had received anecdotal evidence from members of briefers who did not have or relay the newest or most accurate information. When given a chance to preview the letter, AOPA suggested language stressing the FSS briefers' role in making pilots aware of restrictions.
The letter includes the Internet addresses of several sites that provide additional unofficial information on notams and TFRs, including AOPA Online.
"Proper flight planning is crucial for every flight, and pilots must familiarize themselves with all notams and TFRs along their route of flight," says the FAA letter. "It cannot be stressed enough that as an essential part of flight planning pilots are to obtain all notams pertinent to their route of flight, which includes temporary flight restrictions for that area."