Presidential TFRs

3 Replies

Presidential TFRs

Posted by Gerald Wade on Jul 20, 2018 2:42 pm

I have seen articles from time to time about the inconvenience and economic problems caused by airport closures due to Presidential TFRs. This, of course, restricts flying activity but does not seem like a difficult problem to solve. Why not post a TSA agent at the effected airports either temporary or full time. He could make security checks on each pilot and grant them permission to make departures. Once their security has been checked they would not need to checked every time they fly. This would make departures available for pilots and planes based at that airport. Returning or landing would be a more difficult security question to solve but this too may be possible. I realize there would be expense involved but this would likely be minimal compared to closing the airport.
Jerry, SIY Airport
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Re: Presidential TFRs

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jul 20, 2018 6:28 pm

Your idea sounds much like the process for the DC FRZ.  I suppose the problem would be duplicating the extensive air defense systems network in place around DC, especially since the DC air defenses are expected to be permanent while defenses around that golf resort would be expected to be temporary (at least, no more than 6-1/2 more years, maybe only 2-1/2). In addition, both Solberg and Somerset are a bit closer to the target area there than the Maryland 3 airports are to the White House/Capitol.  There would have to be a lot of funds allocated for such an operation, and it might be cheaper just to pay off the affected aviation businesses than to build and operate the necessary that air defense infrastructure.

Also, this issue made the front "page" of the New York Times internet version today, which suggests the distress the airports and their businesses are suffering is now being recognized beyond the aviation community.  Perhaps this will lead Congress to do something about the problem.  All you NJ pilots should start writing to your Congressional reps about that.

Re: Presidential TFRs

Posted by Nicole Applegate on Jul 24, 2018 9:58 am

Hi Gerald,
AOPA asked for this very thing last year when we recognized that Palm Beach County Park/Lantana Airport (LNA) was being affected by the President's travel. Here is the article:
https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2017/february/24/aopa-offers-solution-to-lantana-airport-security-shutdowns
The U.S. Secret Service issued a response letter to Mark Baker that mentioned even with a "gateway" out of the TFR, certain activities are still prohibited like training flights and maintenance test flights. For LNA specifically they denied our request saying, "that gateway operations and the presence of an Airport Security Program could still prove insufficient to mitigate the concerns identified during USSS's airspace security assessment." It seems to be a case by case issue. Like with the Hudson River Corridor, AOPA was able to get it reopened just days after the TFR was implemented. 
Anyway, keep vigilant out there on anything disruptive to GA and write your reps like Ronald says.

Re: Presidential TFRs

Posted by Gerald Wade on Jul 24, 2018 2:53 pm

Thank You Nicole, I'm glad AOPA has been working on the problem. It seems that TSA could implement a helpful solution.
Gerald