Nov. 28, 2016
Following a presidential election, business aviation operators can expect a series of special temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) related to the activities of the president-elect and vice president-elect.
NBAA characterizes these as “Other VIP TFRs,” to distinguish them from the two most common types of VIP TFRs: those related to the movements of the president (POTUS) and vice president (VP).
Presidential TFRs are always the most restrictive, while vice presidential TFRs tend to be more relaxed. For instance, instead of restricting all traffic, operators that are communicating, or “squawking and talking,” can often enter airspace covered by a VP TFR. Ground restrictions for these types of TFRs are often limited to short durations tied to when the VP is moving on or near the airfield.
On the other hand, general aviation traffic is typically prohibited from entering the “inner rings” of POTUS VIP TFRs.
The Other VIP TFRs that apply to the president-elect and vice president-elect tend to be on the less-restrictive side, but that’s not always the case, said NBAA Air Traffic Services Project Manager Jim McClay. “Most of these Other VIP TFRs resemble VP TFRs in terms of the restrictions put in place,” he said.
Exceptions include TFRs for the highest level of foreign dignitaries, noted McClay. This was the case when Pope Francis visited the U.S. in 2015.
The combination of their rarity, plus the varying levels of restrictions they contain, mean that Other VIP TFRs should be monitored closely.
“It is important that operators pay attention to the NBAA website and the contents of the NOTAMs themselves to be absolutely certain they understand the restrictions put in place,” McClay said, adding that NBAA is constantly working to reduce the impact of VIP TFRs on business aviation.
Other VIP NOTAMs, which like the presidential and VP TFRs fall under FAR Part 91.141, are tracked on NBAA’s VIP TFR page. While NBAA makes every effort to keep this resource updated, operators are encouraged to cross-check the NBAA-provided information with FAA’s Graphic TFR page to ensure they are viewing the most current edition of any TFR.