Pilots are urged to check notams carefully when operating in airspace affected by Presidential temporary flight restrictions, including the temporary closure of airports, because each one is tailored to unique conditions and circumstances due to the “unpredictable nature of the current security environment,” according to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey.
From Friday, February 1 through the morning of Super Bowl Sunday two days later, Retha Slade, customer service manager for General Aviation Corp. at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), placed Mardi Gras beads around the necks of unsuspecting flight crews and customers as they entered the company’s newly completed FBO on the north end of the field.
“The Salt Lake City Winter Olympics security plan is going to be the model of how not to do it. It’s going to go down in history as one of the most knee-jerk reactions to a crisis,” National Air Transportation Association president James Coyne told AIN.
Late last month the FAA issued several Notams eliminating enhanced Class B airspace and reducing the dimension of the temporary flight restriction areas in Washington, New York and Boston. The Notams also restore Part 91 access to New York’s JFK and La Guardia Airports.
Frontier Airlines grounded one of its captains and first officers after they inadvertently flew their Boeing 737 into prohibited airspace above the White House seconds after taking off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) last month.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last month extended the compliance date for the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP), which will require new security measures for operators of aircraft with an mtow of 12,500 lb or more, and later announced it would also delay the Private Charter Standard Security Program (PCSSP).
When the call went out in those early, panicky hours of the crisis that’s collectively come to be called “9/11,” some 4,500 aircraft were airborne in U.S. airspace. The vast majority of them were Part 121 airliners; this was, after all, the bustling Tuesday morning of what no one knew would be the last day of business as usual for a long time.
With general aviation access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in an indefinite holding pattern, NBAA has decided to re-target its monthly update meetings at the airport to encompass all of the security issues that business aviation faces or may face in the future.
Penalties for violating temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in the wake of September 11 could be severe. The FAA believes that any pilot who violates the TFRs has demonstrated “a substantial disregard for safety and security, warranting a 150- to 240-day suspension or revocation of pilot certificates,” according to the AOPA.
NBAA announced at its convention in Orlando, Fla., last month that additional dates have been scheduled for its new “Security Training for Part 91 Operators” seminar, completion of which is the first step to a TSA Access Certificate (TSAAC).