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2 Introduction ACRP sponsored this research project with the goal of identifying financial and other ramifi- cations of TFRs on airports and aviation-related businesses. This report describes the findings in terms of quantitative and qualitative impacts. An electronic tool was developed that will estimate the financial ramifications of a TFR for a specific airport or related business. The report also describes steps that can be taken by airport stakeholders to potentially mitigate these impacts. This report presents the findings about the impact of airspace restrictions on airports and airport-related businesses. Researchers compiled a list of TFRs from the last several years and contacted airports and related businesses at many locations where these restrictions have been applied. Many who responded told of hardships induced by the restrictions, although few were able to express specific financial impacts. Researchers identified factors that lead to these impacts and developed a method for predicting impact from future TFRs. 1.1 Project Background Some airspace restrictions are long-standing, such as no-fly zones over military bases. Others are established for temporary hazards such as smoke from wildfires or rocket launches. A TFR is a common type of restriction that can be put in place to control air traffic surrounding VIP movements and other special events. TFRs can impact the airport directly affected, but also airports whose airspace is not restricted. For example, a Super Bowl that results in a TFR over another facility (not an airport) would have a regional impact on the nearby airports. The impact of any TFR or restricted airspace on users of the airports can have aspects that are difficult to quantify, such as the userâs experience. Even if an airport does not experience frequent TFRs, there can be financial and other ramifications from the disruption to normal operations. While procedures may exist to ensure that private aircraft can traverse TFRs to access affected airports, they require planning and coordination well in advance. As a result, pilots might avoid these airports during times when restrictions are in place. If TFRs occur frequently at an airport, for instance due to recurring VIP trips, this may cause pilots or aircraft owners to seek alternative airports at which to base or operate their aircraft. This has additional financial ramifications in lost future revenue to airports from hangar and tie-down fees, fuel sales, and other business interruptions. TFRs have the biggest impact on GA activity and GA airports. For those airports that frequently must operate with a TFR, especially if it occurs during an airportâs busy season, there can be a significant impact on the airportâs financials, as well as on other businesses that operate there (e.g., flight schools, banner towing). These financial ramifications, and increased costs that may need to be expended, are not reimbursed by any entity, and can affect an airportâs ability to be self-sufficient. C H A P T E R 1
Introduction 3 1.2 Selected Impact Examples Researchers found many examples of airports and related businesses that have been affected by TFRs, from articles found via an online search and from direct interviews with people involved. Here are examples of the impacts TFRs can have: â¢ Helicopter air tour operators in Hawaii and Las Vegas said in 2011 that they lost in excess of $150,000 during each visit by the U.S. President to their area. â¢ A company in New Jersey said it lost more than $800,000 in revenue in 2017 because TFRs prevented them from operating instructional or skydiving flights. The TFRs were often issued on short notice, compelling them to reschedule entire weekends. 1.3 Outline This report is organized as follows. Chapter 2 describes airspace restrictions in detail, including regulations governing their use, their historical frequency, and patterns of current use that suggest trends for the future. Chapter 3 describes the impacts of airspace restrictions, both qualitative and quantitative, and economic impact modeling. Chapter 4 describes the method for estimating the impacts of TFRs, including the electronic tool developed to allow stakeholders to estimate the impact of various TFRs on their businesses. Chapter 5 describes suggested mitigation strategies. References are listed in the reference section. Appendix A lists presidential trips in 2016 and 2018. Appendix B contains a list of acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations used, and Appendix C contains a list of airport codes.