June 6, 2011

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen and five other association leaders sent a letter June 2 asking the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to develop ways to minimize the economic impact of Presidential Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) on general aviation (GA) operators.

Review the joint letter (133KB, PDF)

Presidential TFRs typically stop or severely limit GA operations at airports within a 30 nautical mile radius of the President’s location, causing serious financial consequences for GA operators while allowing commercial airline flights to continue.

“For instance, a fixed base operator (FBO) at Chicago’s Midway Airport loses an average of $60,000 in revenue daily when the President visits the Chicago area due to a TFR,” Bolen and the other leaders said in their letter. “Also, helicopter air tour operators In Hawaii and Las Vegas experience losses in excess of $150,000 during each Presidential visit.”

The letter to John S. Pistole, Administrator of the TSA, asked for procedures that would allow those in general aviation to continue operating near normal levels while still addressing the security measures necessary to protect the President. It cited the existing DCA Access Standard Security Program (DASSP) that allows GA aircraft operators in the Washington area to continue using Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport while maintaining the required level of security for the President.

“We offer [this example] as one possible path to take in addressing our concerns,” said the letter, “and we look forward to working with you on other possible initiatives in this area.”

In addition to NBAA’s Bolen, the letter was signed by the presidents of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International and the National Air Transportation Association.