TFR Gateways Allow GA Access


As President Joe Biden enjoys a weekend at home in Wilmington, Delaware, general aviation is continuing to operate, even within the high-security 12-NM ring of the 30-NM TFR that follows him when he travels. AOPA is reporting that the TFR in place until Monday is a big improvement over the draft version rolled out in January. The two GA airports within the center ring, New Castle in Wilmington and New Garden Airport in Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania, are closed for almost all regular operations but they at least remain accessible thanks to some security gateways.

Operators who need to get into either of the airports can land first at either Dulles or Newark to undergo a TSA security check. TSA screening will also be available at New Castle for outbound aircraft. “Pilots should pay close attention to both the dates and procedures and always make sure they are looking at the most recent NOTAMs,” AOPA said in its report. There are nine airports in 12- to 30-NM ring and certain GA operations are allowed but pilots are reminded to review the NOTAMs for each of the airports before turning the key. There are five airports either on or really close to the 30-NM ring that have been exempted from the TFR.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. God bless you Bud that make me smile.

    With that said I suppose the enemy felt similarly 4 years ago, and will feel that way again in 4 more years.

  2. I am glad to see the SS has finally come up with a way for businesses and pilots to access and aviate the inner circle. Having just lived through 4 years of this BS, it is good to see there is some flexibility where for us, there was none. Having said that, I must admit, having the F-16s circle around our neighborhood at 500′ while escorting some hapless ignorant pilot into the airport was kind of fun…

    • It’s good that there’s a way, but it’s quite limited. The only gateways are Dulles and Newark, so it’s not really an option for most of general aviation. Also, one can depart ILG, but there is no way to depart N57. I’d think a pin approach (like the MD3 within the FRZ) would be more effective. Hopefully, the president will spend more time in DC, Camp David, and his beach house (where no airports are in the inner ring, as he’ll take Marine 1)

  3. It’s a law of nature that rules & regulations progress in only one direction…they multiply without limit, and die only when superseded by a more restrictive version. Somehow, the universe survived for a long time without the TFR, but that time will never come again. A cautionary observation relevant to our current COVID situation.