Association Challenges Notam Language

 - October 31, 2007, 11:38 AM

AOPA has expressed alarm about new notam language that says pilots could be subject to criminal penalties for violations of TFRs and other security airspace.

The association asked for clarification of new language in security notams that states, “Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the rules concerning operations [in National Defense Airspace] is subject to certain criminal penalties under [the Federal Transit Code].” It adds that violators can be intercepted, detained and interviewed by federal law enforcement/security personnel and/or DOD representatives.

According to AOPA, the FAA has always had the ability to assess such charges, but it has never stated it so bluntly. “It is important for pilots to know that if they inadvertently stray into restricted airspace they are not going to be subject to
criminal charges and/or hefty civil penalties,” AOPA said.