Constricting Airspace Worries Pilot Advocates

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Maybe you can see forever, on a clear day, but it's getting harder and harder to fly there -- especially for GA pilots, who have to avoid 16 security-related TFRs scattered from coast to coast and "pop-up" TFRs that follow President Bush everywhere he goes. EAA complained last week that presidential TFRs in Ohio created confusion because they varied in size and location, and pilots were given insufficient notice. "Consequences for such airspace violations can be dire," EAA said, and called for more reasonable security measures and better communication with pilots. AOPA last week wrote to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) about lingering post-9/11 TFRs that affect airspace in 13 states, with details about the impact of each one on local operations. "AOPA is asking the TSA to consider removing these restrictions," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We want to ensure due consideration is given to the continued need for each one, especially when you consider that these restrictions have been in place for almost 18 months." That's in addition to expanding airspace restrictions around busy airports and growing military operation areas. AOPA argued against a proposal to lower the Class B floor in Houston that would eliminate a busy VFR flyway, but lost that battle (though the FAA did develop additional waypoints to help pilots navigate the area). AOPA is now working to prevent creation of full-time MOAs in Georgia that would impose a barrier to both VFR and IFR traffic and threaten the survival of underlying GA airports.