All eyes were on the Super Bowl Feb. 5, but not just for the game. FAA and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) officials were watching the airspace for any violations of the associated temporary flight restriction. And pilots didn’t disappoint.
“There were zero violations during the Super Bowl TFR,” Nobuyo Sakata, AOPA director of aviation security, said after checking in with NORAD and FAA officials. “Pilots did an amazing job checking notams and avoiding the TFR or following the proper procedures to transit the TFR, and we appreciate their efforts.”
Meanwhile, the FAA and security officials also were monitoring a TFR in place over President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence near West Palm Beach, Florida. It was Trump’s first trip to his Florida estate since being elected president, and a 30-nautical-mile-radius TFR shut down a busy sector of airspace to general aviation operations.
The TFR was in effect from Feb. 3 through 6. Officials noted nine targets of interest during that time frame.
AOPA has reached out to the Trump administration as well as to FAA officials to try to mitigate the impact of the TFR on pilots and airports. The association continues to advocate for operational relief at Palm Beach County Park Airport and is discussing available options with security officials in an effort to avoid the airport being shut down completely.
“We are pleased that pilots checked notams and complied with the flight restrictions in place for President Trump’s Florida visit,” said Sakata, “But we need to further reduce the number of violations and show the security agencies that we closely adhere to the restrictions so that we can bolster our case for allowing alternatives that will open up Palm Beach County Park Airport.”
The FAA has notified AOPA that Trump is expected to visit his Mar-A-Lago residence again this coming weekend. AOPA encourages pilots to check notams before flight and strive for a perfect record of zero TFR violations.