AOPA is urging pilots not to rely on the FAA’s online temporary flight restriction (TFR) map page when reviewing the location and status of TFRs during flight planning, and is calling on the FAA to take the page down until it functions properly.
The FAA confirmed that the TFR map “is not updating and we are in the process of putting a banner on this page to alert users while the vendor works to fix this issue.”
AOPA is also calling for the FAA to move quickly to alert users to errors on the website, “and not rely solely on disclaimers. Pilots must have full confidence in the information the FAA is providing,” he said.
With TFRs being issued on short notice in a variety of locations because of wildfire-fighting operations, Duke said he was alerted by the Bureau of Land Management that the FAA's graphical TFR website was depicting old TFRs and failing to depict many current/active TFRs.
Duke compared the depictions with TFR graphics available on a private-sector site, and verified the discrepancies. AOPA is taking action to inform pilots of the problem, he said.
“This is very hazardous for the firefighting operations and greatly increases the risk of TFR violations by general aviation aircraft,” he said.
AOPA had brought quality concerns to the FAA’s attention several times beginning in June, as problems with the page—which is scheduled to be superseded on the FAA website next March with an existing Notam Search page—persisted.
Now, however, “we believe this website has become unacceptable for pilots to utilize with the large number of errors and lack of any banner noting these deficiencies.”
“We are requesting the FAA take immediate action to resolve this flight safety issue either by restoring full functionality to the website or removing the erroneous pages from public viewing,” he said.
The issue underlines the urgency of action being taken on 54 recommendations made in a report of the RTCA Tactical Operations Committee that was given the task by the FAA of improving graphical TFRs in the National Airspace System, Duke said.