Pilots throughout the Northeast, South, and Midwest received special ePilot Alerts this week as AOPA continues to provide advance notification of presidential visits and the impact those visits have on members' flying. Each time the President touches down in a city, he brings with him a giant, 60-nm-diameter TFR that closes or restricts airports and airspace. This week, more than 100,000 members from New York to Texas learned about potential impacts on their flying from AOPA e-mails. ePilot Alerts are sent to members who receive AOPA ePilot or ePilot Flight Training Edition.
"AOPA continues to battle the size of these presidential TFRs," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "And we continue to hammer the government about the late notice of many of these TFRs. We're still trying to make government officials understand the impact TFRs have on people's lives and livelihood."
But regardless of how fast the government acts, AOPA has made the commitment to provide timely notice of a presidential visit to area pilots.
"If the FAA issues the notam early enough, we'll advise you of the specifics," said Boyer. "If they don't, we'll alert you to expect one so that you can plan for the interruption."
Recently, one AOPA member e-mailed Boyer to explain how valuable this service was to him:
I don't usually fly during the week, but I was planning on repositioning my plane tomorrow afternoon from Manassas (HEF) where it's just had its biennial altimeter/transponder check down to Orange County (OMH) for my A&P to take a quick look at and then return it home to the Dogwood Residential Airpark (VA42). In case you're not familiar with it, Dogwood is just about 10 nm SW of Quantico, VA. Then I opened my e-mail this evening and saw this note:
FAA TO ESTABLISH LARGE TFR OVER QUANTICO
AOPA is sending this message to advise you that President Bush is scheduled to visit Quantico, Virginia, tomorrow (Wednesday, September 10). His visit will be accompanied by a 20-nautical-mile-radius temporary flight restriction (TFR) that will encompass one smaller, 10-nm-radius area in which general aviation flight will be prohibited...etc., etc., etc.
While I would have found out about this when I called from HEF to file my ADIZ flight plan, I now know to change my schedule for tomorrow and not plan to return home until after 4:30 pm. This is a wonderful service that you and your staff provide, and I think it is fair to say that you just earned my year's dues with this one thoughtful action.
Many thanks to you all!
Members can sign up for ePilot Alerts online.