The FAA on Thursday gave Crawford, Texas-area pilots a small break during President Bush's upcoming weekend trip to his ranch. When AOPA learned that the 30-nm-radius temporary flight restriction (TFR) around the ranch would remain in effect even during those times when the President was physically far away in Dallas and Houston, the association questioned why.
"Apparently our comments made someone at the FAA step back and take another look at the situation," said AOPA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Melissa Bailey, "because they issued a new notam with effective times that will allow operations while the President is out of the area.
"AOPA members continue to question the size and scope of these presidential TFRs," said Bailey, "for the burden they create for general aviation pilots."
And more presidential TFRs are expected for Dallas (Friday) and Houston (Saturday).
Another TFR will affect pilots flying in the Dallas area Friday afternoon and evening. AOPA anticipates that the FAA will issue a TFR affecting GA operations within 30 nm of Dallas Love Field (DAL), effective from 1 p.m. until 8:05 p.m. local on July 18. Presidential TFRs typically include a center no-fly zone with a 10-nm radius, but AOPA has received indications that this TFR's no-fly zone could be smaller, perhaps a 6-nm radius.
Affected airports are expected to include Dallas Love Field (DAL), Dallas Cbd Vertiport Heliport (49T), Addison (ADS), Garland/Dfw Heloplex Heliport (T57), Dallas Executive (RBD), Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW), Air Park-Dallas (F69), Grand Prairie Municipal (GPM), Arlington Municipal (GKY), Carroll Air Park (F66), Lancaster (LNC), Mesquite Metro (HQZ), Kittyhawk (0T7), Lakeview (30F), Ferris Red Oak Municipal Heliport (12T), Rockwall Municipal (F46), Aero Country (T31), Northwest Regional (52F), Mid-Way Regional (JWY), McKinney Municipal (TKI), Fort Worth Alliance (AFW), Airpark East (1F7), Fort Worth Meacham International (FTW), Saginaw (F04), Rives Air Park (T33), Denton Municipal (DTO), Sycamore Strip (9F9), Fort Worth Spinks (FWS), Hicks Airfield (T67), and Terrell Municipal (TRL).
On Saturday, AOPA expects that two TFRs, each with a radius of 30 nm, will affect pilots flying in the Houston area. It is anticipated that they will be effective from 3:45 p.m. until 8 p.m. local on July 19. One will be centered on William P. Hobby Airport (HOU); the exact location of the other is not yet known.
Notams establishing these TFRs have not yet been issued by the FAA. They will be posted on AOPA Online when they become available.
Because TFR airspace frequently changes, AOPA strongly encourages pilots to obtain a briefing and check notams before every flight. Violators will be intercepted and forced to land.