A new book on the shutdown of the National Airspace System on September 11, 2001, calls AOPA's efforts to keep pilots up-to-date on the rapid-fire changes in the following days and weeks via AOPA Online "in many ways the most important and direct method of communications." In Ground Stop: An Inside Look at the Federal Aviation Administration on September 11, 2001, Pamela Freni details both the efforts to shut down the airspace in a matter of hours and the lengthy process to address security concerns and restart it again.
She notes in the book that AOPA arranged to have the association's vice president of regulatory affairs, Melissa Bailey, work at FAA headquarters in the Airspace Management office, both to provide input from a GA perspective and to get word of changes out to GA pilots as quickly as possible.
"The anecdote in this new book just illustrates how AOPA strives to support our members," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "And that work goes on, because the 'new normal' is not normal at all. Large airspace restrictions have become a fact of life wherever the President and Vice President travel. The Baltimore-Washington ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) remains clamped firmly in place even though the reason it was created, the invasion of Iraq, is no more. And the Pentagon continues to maintain 13 'permanent' temporary flight restrictions, including four that make flying in the Seattle area a nightmare.
"AOPA continues to fight against unnecessary airspace restrictions and to provide pilots the tools, like our new Real-Time Flight Planner and our online ADIZ training program, to stay out of trouble."