TFRs Are Here to Stay


TSA Says They Are Necessary …

“TFRs do serve a purpose, and they’re effective,” Robert Albracht, director of GA Operations at the Transportation Security Administration, told AVweb last Thursday in a conference-call interview with several TSA staffers. Essentially, the TFRs function to clear the sky, so security forces are not distracted by a multitude of targets but instead can focus quickly on any that don’t belong. That means that GA pilots who blunder into the restricted zones will be noticed. “And when pilots venture into these zones, they are going to be dealt with,” Albracht said. “I do have the feeling that the grace period, the leniency period, is over,” he said, though he stressed that it’s the FAA, and not the TSA, that determines what action will be taken against TFR violators. “There may be harsher penalties than there were at first.” As for the usefulness of the TFRs, “There’s no silver bullet when it comes to security,” said Robert Rottman, TSA security specialist. “But TFRs are another method we can use, another part of our toolkit, just like putting up a fence.” A recent AVweb Question of the Week showed that 85 percent of those who responded thought that TFRs serve no practical purpose.