...Easy To Use, Help Available
The new graphical TFR site is easily accessed by clicking on the "Pilots: Graphic TFRs" section of the FAA homepage. The click will take pilots to a national map where they can take their pick of TFRs that might affect the flight they are planning. Clicking on the individual TFRs brings up the map, with the TFR shown in red hash marks. There's a layering feature that allows the user to zoom and add major highway and airports, identify major metropolitan areas and place the TFR on a VFR sectional chart. The graphics also include the textual NOTAM descriptions (legal and plain-language) and the whole package can be printed off for ready reference in the air. There is also a 24-hour help desk. Shumann said the new system is part of the agency's overall effort to make TFR information available to pilots as completely and in as timely a fashion as possible. Despite the agency's best efforts to publicize upcoming TFRs, they are routinely violated by GA pilots, who, at best, face a stern talking to by FAA and/or TSA officials and a blot on their flying record. The new graphics couldn't come at a busier time for TFRs. The president is on a four-day trip to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, with a side trip to San Antonio, which started Wednesday, and the wildfires in California have created several TFRs. Although the new system promises to be a vast improvement, Shumann stressed there's no substitute for a full FSS briefing before taking off.