Jan. 13, 2004 — AOPA President Phil Boyer and Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) of Washington State's Second District have been chosen for a special award for their year-long efforts to reduce the impact of four security-related temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in the Puget Sound area. The TFRs were demanded by the Pentagon shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
" AOPA worked closely with several members of Washington's congressional delegation to try to resolve the issue, but Representative Larsen was really the point person on Capitol Hill," said Boyer. Larsen's district borders most of the Puget Sound and was heavily impacted by the TFRs. "AOPA staff worked with the congressman's office to try to find a solution."
News of the awards coincided with the shrinking of the four Puget Sound TFRs, along with three others in Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah. Aviation Director John Sibold of the Washington State Department of Transportation echoed Boyer's comments on the size reductions, calling them "a marvelous first step." He praised both Boyer and Larsen for their "tireless leadership."
AOPA plans to continue monitoring the effects of the Department of Defense TFRs and has set up a special e-mail address and wants to hear both the good and the bad about the changes from pilots flying in the area. Representative Larsen is also calling on pilots to keep his office informed about the effects of the changes.
State Aviation Director Sibold will present the awards at the 2004 Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show in Puyallup on February 21, 2004.