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Thu, Apr 01, 2010

President Obama Imposes Nationwide TFR

"I've Got A Boeing, And I'm Not Afraid To Use It," President Says

ANN April 1st Special Edition: The FAA has imposed a nationwide TFR until further notice at the request of President Barack Obama. The President, embarking on a campaign to pump up poll numbers for the recently-passed health care legislation, said he might need to travel just about anywhere on a moment's notice.

"I am asking the FAA to restrict most flight activities until we get the numbers up on this health care bill," the President said in a news briefing. "We have polling organizations all over the country conducting spot checks on the law's popularity, and where we see a need to go make an appearance, we want to be able to do that," the President said.

Effective immediately nationwide, all aircraft operations are prohibited except for approved law enforcement and approved military aircraft directly supporting the health care law, approved air ambulance flights, and regularly scheduled commercial passenger and all-cargo carriers operating under one of the following TSA-approved standard security programs/procedures: Aircraft Operator Standard Security Program (AOSSP), Full All-Cargo Aircraft Operator Standard Security Program (FACAOSSP), Model Security Program (MSP), Twelve Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP) All Cargo, or All-Cargo International Security Procedure (ACISP) and are arriving into and/or departing from 14 CFR Part 139 Airports. All Emergency/life saving flights (medical/law enforcement/firefighting) operations must coordinate with the FAA.

The following operations are not authorized within this TFR: Flight training, practice instrument approaches, aerobatic flight, glider operations, parachute operations, ultralight, hang gliding, balloon operations, agriculture/crop dusting, animal population control flight operations, banner towing operations, sightseeing operations, model aircraft operations, model rocketry, seaplane/amphibious water operations, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Any person operating an aircraft within this TFR who becomes aware of an inability to comply with the requirement to continuously squawk the ATC assigned transponder code must immediately request control instructions and comply with all instructions from ATC. If unable to contact ATC, pilots must exit the TFR by the most direct lateral route.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt admitted that the TFR would cause some hardship to countless small business that depend on airplanes for their survival, but said that it was out of his hands. "He's the boss," Babbitt said. "When he says 'Jump', it's incumbent on me to say 'how high?' He came to my office last week and said 'Randy, I've got a Boeing and I'm not afraid to use it. I need to be able to go anywhere at any time with the proper amount of security until people understand that this health care law will do everything we say it will do.' So honestly, I really had no choice."

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen called the TFR an "outrage." "I'm speechless," Bolen said. He and AOPA President Craig Fuller said their organizations would be working with the FAA in an attempt to have the TFR lifted. "I'm sure there's something that can be done," Fuller said from his motorcade.

FMI: www.whitehouse.gov, www.faa.gov

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