AOPA President Phil Boyer and Rep. Rick Larsen
review one of the multiple TFRs near Seattle.
AOPA is back on Capitol Hill pushing for relief from so-called "temporary" flight restrictions (TFRs). Today Boyer met with Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), whose district includes many pilots affected by the multiple TFRs around the Puget Sound near Seattle. Larsen, along with AOPA, is concerned about the permanent nature of so many TFRs. In this second meeting with AOPA, Boyer and Larsen plotted strategy to bring more pressure for government review of the necessity for the TFRs.
Specifically, Boyer asked Larsen to write Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to ask for an explanation for why the TFRs are needed and provide an answer for how long is "temporary." He asked Larsen to take the lead on this issue, to make Washington state the "poster child" for efforts to challenge those "permanent" TFRs that have become unnecessary.
Rep. Larsen has been actively engaged on the TFR issue. He has previously met with AOPA staff, and with AOPA members in Washington state. He also secured language in the House version of the FAA reauthorization bill that would have required the Department of Defense to review the ongoing need for specific TFRs. That language was dropped from the final version of the bill, hence the effort to approach Secretary Rumsfeld directly. Larsen sits on the House Armed Services Committee.