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College Editorial: TFRs Bad For GA, Small Businesses

Commentator Says FAA, Secret Service Focus On The Wrong Aircraft

Temporary flight restrictions designed to protect the President or put in place during major sporting events are targeted at exactly the wrong type of airplanes, according to a commentator writing recently in the UNLV Rebel Yell.

Dede Anderson writes in an op-ed piece in the paper that since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, GA airplanes have been prevented from flying or using certain airports when the President is nearby, while airliners are allowed to operate normally. But, it is pointed out, the 9/11 terrorists used airliners to bring down the World Trade Center and attack the Pentagon, not a Cessna 172 or balloon. The author said that the practice continues even after a federally-funded study pointing out that GA airplanes pose no credible threat to the security of the President, while airliners have that capacity.

But during a Presidential VIP TFR, GA and business airplanes sit idly on the ramp. Small businesses such as flight schools and helicopter tour operators can lose thousands of dollars per day, and many operate on a margin that makes such losses painful, if not devastating. There is never any compensation from the federal government for those losses.

But non-aviation businesses are affected as well. Small airplanes deliver things like lab results and critical replacement parts for manufacturing operations quickly and efficiently, except when they are not allowed to due to a TFR.

Anderson urges readers to contact members of their congressional delegations and express a concern about the effect of TFRs on small businesses. "The general aviation industry belongs to all of us," Dede writes, "and we need to protect it."

(Pictured: Recent TFR in place in Las Vegas during a visit by President Obama)

FMI: Full Article


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