The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice To Airmen (Notam) on Tuesday prohibiting U.S. operators from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region (FIR), which covers all of Syria.
A temporary flight restriction (TFR), outlined in FDC Notam 4/2985, will be in place on January 28 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. local for aircraft flying into or out of the Washington, D.C. area. The Notam, issued as part of security measures for U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, defines the affected area as the boundaries of the current D.C. flight restricted Zone (FRZ) and will prohibit general aviation operations at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA), Washington Executive/Hyde Field (W32), Potomac Airfield (VKX) and College Park Airport (CGS).
Before the 9/11 attacks in 2001, a one-mile bubble of airspace used to follow the U.S. President around, theoretically protecting him and his entourage from airborne threats. That bubble has grown to a 10-nm diameter ring surrounded by a 30-nm restricted zone, raising a key question: Is the risk of an attack now that much greater than it was before 9/11?
The FAA issued airspace restrictions in the Charlotte, N.C., area for the upcoming Democratic National Convention that closely resemble those currently in effect for the RNC in Tampa, Fla. The DNC Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) will be in effect for the Charlotte, N.C., area September 3 to 6. The DNC TFR will also be deemed “National Defense Airspace,” which means violators might be exposing themselves to deadly force should they pose an imminent security threat.
After asking for a show of hands from air charter operators who are experiencing difficulties filling pilot vacancies, FAA deputy director of flight standards John Duncan told attendees at last month’s NATA Air Charter Summit that he gets involved in discussions about pilot shortages in a lot of different venues. “From an academic standpoint, it’s going to be interesting,” he said. “But from a community standpoint, it’s probably going to be a little painful. This is a dilemma for the aviation community.”
Private aircraft flying to the Tampa, Fla. area during the Republican National Convention, to be held August 26 to 30, can expect to be confronted with security restrictions similar to a Super Bowl TFR, including a 10-mile-radius “no fly zone” and the need to use gateway airports in nearby Sarasota and Orlando for security screening for flights inbound to Tampa International Airport.
Flying in “Chicagoland” will become severely restricted for many aviators due to an upcoming NATO Summit meeting scheduled for later this month. The summit and the associated temporary flight restriction (TFR), in what is labeled as National Defense Airspace, will be in place from May 19 to 21. The meetings will be held at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago, next to the old Meigs Field.
As the 2012 U.S. election campaign season begins ramping up, industry leaders are concerned about what they believe will be an unprecedented number of temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) as candidates spread out to press the flesh. Given the number of states up for grabs in what looks to be an extremely close and contentious presidential election, private aviation is bracing for the inevitable travel interruptions.
A high-level Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official told a group of NBAA operators last month that a revised Large Aircraft Security Program (Lasp) will have a new name when it is re-released for comment, ideally by the end of the year.
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