As winter approaches, pilots flying to Southeast Florida are encourage to review and comply with all NOTAMs regarding the Presidential TFRs that will be active while President Donald Trump is at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach home.
These POTUS TFRs, which impact the Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) and the surrounding area, will be active only when Trump is at Mar-a-Lago and a specific NOTAM is issued, officials with the National Business Aviation Administration (NBAA) noted.
The TFR will consist of a 10-nautical-mile inner circle and a 30-nautical-mile outer circle, extending from the surface to 17,999 feet agl, centered around PBI.
A buffer zone allows modified departure operations from PBI’s Runway 10L, but requires an immediate turn away from Mar-A-Lago.
When the PBI TFR is active, all operations will be prohibited within the inner ring of the TFR, except POTUS aircraft, military aircraft supporting the U.S. Secret Service, approved law enforcement, air ambulance and firefighting operations, and scheduled commercial and cargo flights operating under TSA Standard Security Programs.
The POTUS TFR requires other pilots to clear through a designated gateway airport before departing for PBI and to complete security screening at PBI before departure.
The gateway airport locations include three northern airports: New York’s Westchester County Airport (HPN), Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey, and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD); and two Florida airports – Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) – although more gateways may be added.
These five airports will operate as gateways on Saturdays and Sundays only when a POTUS TFR is in effect. All four FBOs at PBI will have screeners in place during TFRs for departure operations.
Pilots should check NOTAMs for gateway operating hours, as the hours will change in the spring with the start of daylight saving time.
Certain general aviation operations – including agricultural, banner towing, non-sightseeing seaplane and blimp operations – will be permitted to takeoff or land in the TFR outer ring, but they must follow specific instructions, which can be found in the NOTAM.
“NBAA continues to work with the FAA, TSA and U.S. Secret Service, as well as other local, state and federal agencies, to implement a more workable, permanent solution for business aviation access into these TFRs,” said Sarah Wolf, NBAA’s senior manager of security and facilitation. “In the meantime, all pilots operating into or out of Southeast Florida must check NOTAMs before each flight. The business aviation community is typically a safe and compliant one. It is critical that we continue to follow the instructions in each POTUS TFR.”