Is it time to re-think TFRs?

“A TFR is a regulatory action issued via the U.S. Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) system to restrict certain aircraft from operating within a defined area, on a temporary basis, to protect persons or property in the air or on the ground.” So says AC91-63C, an advisory circular issued with the intent of illuminating the public on what the fuss is all about. For many, the TFR system works well, is understandable, and while it may be perceived as an inconvenience at times, it is widely believed to be a necessary one – especially when viewed from the perspective of a non-aviator.

On the other side of the fence, where GA tries to thrive, TFRs are a becoming a real irritant and a significant impediment to commerce. In Florida they’ve become almost ubiquitous, popping up with alarming frequency — sometimes remaining in place for days.

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Tampa-area general aviation airports prepare for Republican convention

Airports in the Tampa area are gearing up for increased traffic later this summer for the Republican National Convention, according to a report in The Tampa Tribune. TFRs will be in place for flights within a 10-mile radius of the Aug. 26 kick-off party in St. Petersburg and the Aug. 27-30 convention in Tampa. The FAA is expected to publish those TFRs about 30 days before the convention begins.

Concern at Martha’s Vineyard

President Obama is scheduled to spend ten days in August at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. That visit is causing concern for those at the local airport, Katama Airfield. Mike Creato of Classic Aviators (biplane tours) is worried a TFR will descend on the airport and effectively shut him down for the ten days. In the height of tourist season, a ten day shutdown is 15%-20% of the operating season. Read the complete story, and extensive comments at Vineyard Gazette Online.