NavAirWx has added live temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) to its moving-map and real-time weather display systems. The Mt. Kisco, N.Y., company uses satellite broadcast technology to provide “instantaneous access to current TFRs, with updates every 12 minutes.” Along with weather information updated on a five-minute cycle, “pilots now have complete and current conditions for every point along the route of flight,” according to NavAirWx.
The FAA proposed today to make permanent the so-called temporary flight restrictions in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The restrictions and the current air defense identification zone (ADIZ) would be known as the National Defense Airspace. The Washington ADIZ and another over New York City were established in February 2002, ostensibly as temporary measures, and the New York City ADIZ has since been eliminated.
The last time the Super Bowl was held in Miami, in 1999, the concept of regular temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) was yet to be revealed to the aviation world and traffic flowed smoothly, bringing spectators to watch the Denver Broncos crush the Atlanta Falcons 34 to 19. Fast-forward eight years and Miami was again host to the Super Bowl, but this time a TFR kept the skies over Dolphin Stadium free of general aviation traffic.
Unlike previous HAI Conventions, the fly-in of display aircraft for Heli-Expo’05 was anything but routine as pilots of incoming helos had to contend with not only restricted airspace but also blustery northeast Santa Ana winds that combined to complicate arrivals last Wednesday and Thursday.
Thanks primarily to a campaign by AOPA, the FAA has received more than 16,000 comments, the vast majority mostly negative, to the agency's proposal to make permanent the temporary flight restrictions in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Comments on the proposal are due tomorrow. The restrictions and the current air defense identification zone (ADIZ) would be known as the National Defense Airspace, if the FAA has its way.
“The job of a controller is no longer just separating airplanes,” National Air Traffic Controllers Association president John Carr told attendees at a symposium on “Post 9/11 Security Impacts on Air Traffic Control and Aviation” in Washington, D.C., in late January. “They have to be aware of possibilities that we did not even contemplate on the morning of September 10.”
When New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, 34, and his flight instructor, Tyler Stranger, 26, crashed their Cirrus SR20 into an east side Manhattan high-rise on October 11, the resultant outcry predictably called for more restrictions against general aviation.
As the presidential election heated up last month, the blood pressures of many general aviation pilots rose faster than the campaign rhetoric as they attempted to stay abreast of changing temporary flight restrictions (TFRs).
In a recently released Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on securing and defending U.S. airspace, the FAA said general aviation pilots accounted for most of the 3,400 restricted-airspace violations recorded between Sept. 12, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2004. The report attributes most of these violations to weather diversions, pop-up temporary flight restrictions or pilots’ failure to check for notices of restrictions.
In the aftermath of 9/11, the number-one priority quickly became answering “How did it happen?” and “How do we stop it from happening again?”
Four years later, we know how it happened, leaving the matter of how to stop it from happening again, and raising a third question: “How safe are we?”