EAA Backs TFR-Affected Airport

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EAA is hoping the FAA will give the long-suffering pilots based at the airport in Killeen, Texas, a break from the disruption that occurs every time President George W. Bush drops into his Crawford ranch. Such visits trigger a 30-mile TFR that comes within 700 feet of the north end of Killeen's Runway 1/19. That means all flight training involving pattern work must cease and it forces pilots to use Runway 1 for landings and 19 for takeoffs -- regardless of wind direction. EAA maintains that an exemption area extending about four miles into the TFR will accommodate the Killeen pilots without endangering the president. There are two flight schools at the airport and it doesn't help that the president usually heads to the ranch on weekends and holidays when the flight schools would otherwise be busiest. There are 54 aircraft based at the airport and 41,000 operations each year.