Two members of Congress from Washington State added their clout to AOPA's fight to remove security-related "temporary" flight restrictions (TFRs) that have been in place for two years since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Jennifer Dunn (R-Wash.) sent a strongly worded letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, urging the Department of Defense (DoD) to reevaluate the need for four TFRs in the Puget Sound area.
"Representatives Larsen and Dunn have been listening closely to their pilot constituents and know the difficulties TFRs in the area are causing," said AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jon Hixson. "We're pleased to have them weigh in to support pilots in the Pacific Northwest."
[AOPA's powerful new flight planning tool, Real-Time Flight Planner, can help pilots route around TFRs with click-and-drag simplicity.]
In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, DoD asked for and got 17 TFRs over what the Pentagon considers sensitive military installations around the country. To date, only three of the 17 have been lifted. The other 14 have been in place so long that they've essentially become "permanent" TFRs.
In their letter to Rumsfeld, Larsen and Dunn wrote, "These TFRs cause tremendous operational, access and efficiency problems for pilots." They specifically asked Rumsfeld to begin a review of all 14 "permanent" TFRs, beginning with the four in the Puget Sound area.
The Air Safety Foundation's Know Before You Go online course teaches pilots about operating in the increasingly complex post-September 11 airspace environment.