In an effort to protect National Football League Super Bowl XLII patrons and players from the possibility of a terrorist strike, government authorities plan to implement temporary flight restrictions (TFR) over the Phoenix area in addition to traffic-management initiatives.
Federal Aviation Regulations
Prompted in part by NTSB recommendations arising from the July 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island, the FAA has developed an enhanced airworthiness program for airplane systems (EAPAS) to increase awareness of wiring system degradation and improve both maintenance and design of electrical systems.
With the forcible shutdown of Chicago Meigs Field fresh in their minds, several members of the House aviation subcommittee called to eliminate some of the security restrictions that have been imposed on general aviation as a result of 9/11 and continuing unspecified terrorist threats. And general aviation trade associations pleaded with the lawmakers to create a cohesive federal policy on airspace and airport shutdowns.
The FAA has revised the regulations covering temporary flight restrictions by creating a separate set of conditions to cover sporting events and airshows (new FAR 91.145) and revising the existing rules to apply only to disaster and hazard areas (retitled FAR 91.137).
A few days after last September 11 it became apparent that the FAA and even the Department of Transportation did not have much say in aviation security matters. Both FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta admitted as much in congressional hearings one week later.
Still unclear at press time was how Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 91 will affect general aviation, particularly business aircraft and private aircraft with mtows exceeding 12,500 lb.
General aviation received some good news and some not-so-good news last month with regard to airport security.
Judging from testimony at a hearing on the FAA’s new air-tour proposals, FAR Part 136 might be a solution in search of a problem. Speaker after speaker told the FAA that the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) should be withdrawn, scrapped or, at the very least, rewritten.
Some flight schools have gone out of business since September 11 though the actual number is elusive. A National Air Transportation Association spokesman said a member survey taken two weeks after the terrorist attacks yielded shocking results. NATA’s membership conservatively lost between $300 million and $500 million during the period when all flight instruction and VFR flying were banned.
Aviation security collided with politics last month on Capitol Hill, when a Senate bill that would have created–among other provisions–a new force of federal employees to screen airline passengers and their baggage encountered stubborn resistance in the House.