An important member of Congress is calling into question the "Mickey Mouse TFRs" (temporary flight restrictions over Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California). In a letter to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, Representative Ernest Istook (R-Okla.), the new chairman of the House transportation subcommittee, raised important questions about the legitimacy of the TFRs.
These TFRs were put in place after some vaguely worded language restricting banner-towing operations over certain sporting events was included in the 2003 FAA Appropriations Act. Some lawmakers made it clear to the Department of Transportation and the FAA that the "intent of Congress" was to provide for flight restrictions over the Disney theme parks as well.
But now Chairman Istook is questioning whether that represented the intent of all members of the conference committee that wrote the language.
"AOPA supports Chairman Istook's efforts to review the Disney TFRs," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "Much as Mayor Daley did to justify destroying Meigs Field in Chicago, others are also using 'national security' as a ruse to place limits on general aviation for reasons that have little to do with terrorist threats."