AOPA isn't giving up when it comes to preventing two temporary flight restriction areas from becoming permanent prohibited areas. The Department of Defense and the FAA have proposed turning the TFRs over Bangor, Washington, and St. Mary's, Georgia, into prohibited areas. But AOPA is arguing that making them national security areas (NSAs) is a better option.
Meanwhile, two former TFRs (Anniston, Alabama, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas) became NSAs instead of prohibited areas last month because of AOPA's advocacy. Nine more will become NSAs by January as sectional charts are updated (see " FAA denies DOD prohibited airspace requests").
AOPA met with key officials of the Defense Department's Policy Board on Federal Aviation last week. That board is responsible for coordinating the relationship between the FAA and the military, and it sets policy for the military's use of domestic airspace.
AOPA reiterated its opposition to the Bangor and St. Mary's prohibited areas and pointed out to the military that more than 600 comments have been filed against the proposals.
"We continue to argue that a national security area provides the needed protection for sensitive military installations, permitting reasonable use of nearby airspace by civilian aircraft," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs. "Inherent within an NSA is the mechanism to restrict flight operations should there be an elevated security threat." (See " What's an NSA?")
October 13, 2004