Wherever President Bush goes, he takes a very large temporary flight restriction (TFR) with him. Now that he's officially running for reelection and is popping in all over the country, TFRs will also be popping up all over—large TFRs, frequently 60 nautical miles in diameter punching up to 18,000 feet altitude.
"AOPA continues to lobby against these oversized presidential-movement TFRs," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "TFRs this large have significant operational and economic impacts on pilots and absent a specific, credible threat, we don't think they need to be this big."
The association maintains almost daily contact with the FAA, the Transportation Security Administration, and security officials responsible for the President's security and continues to reiterate the impact of TFRs on general aviation. This week, for example, Boyer met with Gordon England, the deputy secretary of Homeland Security, to discuss presidential TFRs, among other topics.
But regardless of whether the size is really necessary, pilots must know about TFRs and comply with the operating rules. AOPA can help. Members who subscribe to AOPA ePilot or ePilot Flight Training Edition will also receive special ePilot Alerts by e-mail when airspace changes, including presidential-movement TFRs, cause significant impact in their area.
Some Part 91.141 presidential-movement TFRs can be small and in place for only a few hours. AOPA will post information on all operationally significant presidential TFRs (those that have a significant impact on area airports) on the AOPA Online home page. And by clicking on the U.S. map under "Quick Links" on the home page, pilots may see the presidential TFR notams themselves.
AOPA ePilot Alerts are intended to give pilots the earliest possible warning about airspace changes as they do their flight planning. However, sometimes notams are modified or TFRs are issued on such short notice that publishing an alert in time is impossible. Pilots are reminded that they must check with an official notam source immediately prior to any flight.
To subscribe to ePilot, go to the online form.