Blindsided By Homeland Security

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FAA Promises Better TFR Warning System...

That kinder, gentler FAA we've been telling you about is taking steps to keep you out of TFR trouble. Communications Director Greg Martin told AVweb the agency will soon (loose definitions suggested) launch a new Web-based information system designed to give pilots up-to-date, accurate information on airspace restrictions, including those following the president. "We are committed to getting information out better," said Martin. He said the looming presidential election campaign will make timely TFR information even more critical and the agency is responding, in part, as a reflection of its new attitude toward "customer" service. Martin said they're still working on the system and no date has been set for its launch but he promised it would deliver the information pilots need, including graphical depictions, at the click of a mouse. The FAA has already redesigned its Web site, eliminating the confusing list of administrative jargon that passed for an index before and replacing it with a more intuitive arrangement of stuff pilots need to know. Although computers have become like an extension of the airplane for many pilots in terms of flight planning and weather-information gathering, the FAA is also trying to accommodate less Web-savvy pilots by announcing TFRs on all-news radio stations in affected areas. Bottom line, as always, is check with your FSS before departure.