...And New Ones, As TFRs Close Area Airports

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While President Bush's visit to Kitty Hawk yesterday (by helicopter, Air Force One, and helicopter) was widely viewed as a boost for aviation, it brought with it huge chunks of TFR'd airspace, giving the folks at AOPA a chance to vent. "This has got to be the bitterest irony -- that America will celebrate a century of powered flight by grounding aircraft," fumed AOPA President Phil Boyer in a news release Monday. The TFRs closed the two fields closest to the Centennial events -- Dare County Airport and Elizabeth City Regional Airport (ECG) -- from 7 a.m. till noon local time on Wednesday. However, airport manager Joe Lamothe at ECG told AVweb Tuesday that he didn't think the shutdown would affect the plans of too many GA pilots. "It's busy here tonight," he said, "but most people who are planning to be here are already here." His airfield accommodates the bigger jets looking for a place close to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, center of the Kitty Hawk events. "John Travolta is flying in here tonight," he said. "We expect the president to fly in here tomorrow. As of 8 a.m. security gets really tight."