On the heels of the recently passed House FAA Bill, which includes an amendment authored by Reps. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) that would require the FAA to conduct a study and recommend procedures allowing properly vetted pilots to fly during presidential temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, released its fiscal year 2019 Appropriations bill on May 15, which includes $3.5 million in reimbursement funds for non-gateway airports and businesses that are required to close during presidential TFRs.
Understandably, presidential travel comes with an intense security protocol. Airports that lie within the most frequent TFRs resulting from the president’s travel including Solberg Airport and Somerset Airport in New Jersey, as well as Palm Beach County Park Airport, also known as Lantana Airport, in Florida, have combined net losses of more than one million dollars in 2017 alone.
Lance and Frankel quickly addressed this problem and, with the support of Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) and Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), included these funds for the three affected airports and businesses at those airports.
Ensuring the safety of the president has always been a primary interest of the aviation community, and AOPA is grateful to Lance and Frankel for their leadership on this issue.
“We all strongly support the safety and well-being of our president,” AOPA President Mark Baker said, “and the TFR security procedure review and the financial assistance will go a long way in helping the airports and businesses that are required to close during these TFRs.”