May 17, 2003
EAA''s Washington Office lodged an official complaint with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Friday (May 16) regarding the increased proliferation of temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) that accompany President Bush as he travels throughout the country. These TFRs place a growing hardship on general aviation pilots, who increasingly face a confusing array of TFRs. For instance, flight restrictions were issued when the President visited several locations stumping for his tax cut plan, with many of the TFRs lacking adequate notice to pilots. With President Bush making his 2004 re-election bid official Friday, prospects loom large for even more TFRs popping up as he-and other candidates-hit the campaign trail.
General aviation was repeatedly shut out of large blocks of airspace all over the country this week, said EAA Vice President of Government Relations-Washington Office Doug Macnair, who lodged the complaint. In the absence of particular, credible threats, this is simply unacceptable. As we go into the campaign season we cannot continue to have weeks like this.
EAA specifically requested that its concerns be forwarded to the inter-agency airspace working group for response. Underscoring EAA''s concerns, Friday afternoon the FAA released a NOTAM indicating that the restricted airspace around Camp David would once again be expanded to 10 nautical miles. The NOTAM was released just hours before the restrictions went into effect. EAA has repeatedly argued before the FAA, TSA and Secret Service that adequate notice amounting to days not hours must be given if these agencies expect compliance with pop-up presidential TFRs.