AOPA to FAA: Hands Off Our Airspace, Please

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When the FAA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Monday proposing to turn a Washington State TFR into a permanent prohibited zone, AOPA was quick to cry foul. "AOPA has consistently opposed these TFRs in the Puget Sound area because of the adverse operational impact on general aviation, particularly seaplanes using the Hood Canal," AOPA President Phil Boyer said in a news release. "There is a much less restrictive solution that would satisfy the Navy's legitimate security concerns." AOPA told the FAA that an airspace classification called a National Security Area (NSA) would do the trick. "Pilots are requested to voluntarily avoid flying through an NSA," Boyer said. "And when the threat level is elevated, NOTAMs can be issued to prohibit flight through a particular NSA." The NPRM would make permanent the current TFR around the U.S. Navy submarine base at Bangor, Wash., over the Hood Canal. The proposed prohibited area, P-51, would extend up to 2,500 feet MSL.