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16 Impacts of Airspace Restrictions In this chapter, possible impacts from airspace restrictions are listed, and economic impact modeling is discussed. Specific examples of impacts from recent TFRs, descriptions of the impacts of each types of TFR, and some specific instances of TFRs of each type are included. 3.1 Qualitative and Quantitative Impacts Examples of impacts that can be quantified include: â¢ Number of airport operations (takeoffs and landings) reduced from normal levels. Researchers were able to measure these impacts for several specific events in 2018. These results are in section 4.1. â¢ Number of airport operations increased from normal levels, due to traffic induced by TFR. These could be support vehicles for VIP travel, or spillover traffic at an airport just outside a TFR. â¢ Number of specific flight training, skydiving, banner towing, etc., operations that are planned but must be rescheduled or canceled. â¢ Amount of revenue changed from normal levels, which could be an increase or a decrease. The amount of the change depends on the size of the change in traffic and the normal amount of revenue of the business. â¢ Number of canceled lease agreements on equipment. â¢ Number of jobs lost. â¢ Number of businesses closed. However, some of these impacts may be difficult to quantify precisely. For any given flight that is affected, it might be: â¢ Delayed until the TFR is over, but not more than 1â2 hours. â¢ Rerouted around the TFR. â¢ Rescheduled (e.g., to the following weekend) or canceled. The impacts involving flights being rescheduled or canceled assume that these flights are an optional activity, such as recreation. For example, a student might be taking a series of flying lessons each Saturday, but each TFR results in the series taking one extra week to complete. In economic terms, these are considered opportunity costs, or the foregone revenue resulting from any particular TFR. Without strong supporting data from impacted users, these costs are hard to quantify, particularly if these users are able to employ a workaround, such as by rescheduling flight lessons or rearranging scheduled activities within reasonable time frames. With sufficient advance knowledge of a TFR, many users are able to deal with the inconveniences that might result without incurring substantial opportunity costs. C H A P T E R 3
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 17 Uncertainty is a major factor behind business impacts. Current customers, and potential future customers, of a business might decide to use a different airport or eschew flying altogether because of the chance that a TFR might disrupt their flight. People interested in taking flying lessons might choose a different airport where lessons can be scheduled more reliably, or pilots might base their aircraft at a different airport to ensure they will be able to fly. When TFRs recur frequently at the same location, this uncertainty concerning whether and when there will be another restriction puts a damper on business. This effect is hard to quantify, however, because of the challenge of counting people who do not fly. 3.2 Economic Impact Modeling In evaluating the economic impacts resulting from the imposition of TFRs on and around airports in the United States, there are a variety of potential economic impacts to airports, airport tenants, and airport users (aviation stakeholders). These impacts are mostly negative, although in some cases there may be direct or indirect positive impacts. In general, the economic impacts are to business operations and affect cash flowsâfor example, loss of revenues due to curtailed or limited airport operations, or imposition of additional costs due to the need for alternative actions. While in theory these impacts are finite and thus quantifiable, in practice they might or might not be measurable. This section summarizes the methodological basis for analyzing economic impacts of TFRs on stakeholders. TFRs typically impact the ability of aircraft to operate within a specific geographic area or time frame. Because aircraft require an airfield from which to take off and/or land, there is an impact on the airport due to changes in the number or frequency of operations (commonly defined as a landing or takeoff of an aircraft). If airport costs and revenues can be accounted for on an operational basis, then the economic (financial) impact can potentially be measured. Similarly, aircraft operators may experience economic impacts that can be quantified in terms of the costs (or lost revenues) associated with flights that are disrupted. Lastly, there may be impacts to businesses associated with an airport or aircraft that may also be quantified to some extent. Each of these potential areas of impacts will be discussed in the following sections. 3.2.1 Impacts to Airports Airports vary widely in their operational and financial activity levels and sophistication, ranging from large public commercial airports to small private airstrips. Most are run as businesses and maintain some level of accounting for assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses. Airports also vary widely in information regarding activity levels they collect and maintain, including but not limited to the number and type of aircraft and terminal and landside operations. Many smaller GA airports receive operational subsidies from their sponsors, which could be public agencies. These subsidies often come from local general tax revenues. Most airports also charge for services, including the use of the runways by way of landing fees and by fees on fuels sold, either charged directly or through third-party, fixed-base operators (FBOs). Other revenues come from leases of hangars, direct services to aircraft, tie-downs, and leasing airport land and space within the terminal for various concessions such as restaurants and offices. Airport costs include staffing, materials, and equipment needed to keep the facility open and operating. Although most airports would prefer revenues to exceed costs, this is rare. In the case of small private airfields, revenues from aircraft operations such as landing fees are relatively small compared to the costs and are supplemented by fees charged for maintenance and repairs, leasing of space to tenants, or provision of pilot training and other services.
18 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions It is challenging to financially relate airport revenues to aircraft activity ranges. Larger airports, particularly those with towers, typically track aircraft movements and operations precisely and have good cost and revenue accounting systems. Other airports may have little data on the number of operations and maintain very basic accounting systems, thus hindering their ability to develop a universally usable economic impact model to measure financial changes due to changes in flight activities. From a revenue perspective, a change in the number of operations resulting from a TFR might impact an airport in multiple ways, some direct and others indirect, including: â¢ Reduced revenue from landing fees charged for use of runways and supporting infrastructure. â¢ Reduced fuel purchases. â¢ Reduced aircraft service charges (e.g., catering, hangar rent, cleaning, etc.). â¢ Reduced purchases of ancillary services such as food at on-airport concessions. These impacts may be direct if the airport sells fuel or provides services directly to aircraft operators, or indirect if the change in operations results in less revenue from fuel flowage fees, percentage rents, or lower tenant lease payments. On the other side of the ledger, fewer operations due to TFRs may result in cost savings from the lower required expenditures on operations and maintenance. However, due to the fixed nature of these costs, and the incremental impacts of TFRs in many cases, these costs savings are likely small. In order to effectively model the impact of TFRs on airports, it is necessary to have in place accounting systems that accurately relate aircraft operations with revenues. This is likely to be different for each airport because there are no federal or industry standards for such accounting. Larger, public airports are more likely to have the data needed to quantify impacts, while small airports may only be able to estimate impacts. Scheduled commercial operations are usually not affected; resultantly, small airports experience most of TFRsâ impacts. From a financial modeling perspective, variables that come into play may include the following: It Impact on airport revenues over time period t Ot Number of aircraft operations during time period t DOt Change in the number of aircraft operations in time period t LFt Landing fees generated during time period t ORt n Operating revenues from source n during time period t Ft n Other impacts that can be quantified, from source n during period t. The general equation to estimate the impact I would be: â= D + D +ï£«ï£ï£¬ ï£¶ ï£¸ï£·I LF O O OR O O Ft t t t t n t t t n n In other words, the impact is the sum of the change in average landing fees per operation due to the TFR during a particular time period, plus the average of other operating revenues per operation, plus any other quantifiable impacts that may or may not be directly related to the number of operations. As can be seen, even a simple financial model requires a potentially large amount of data to be collected and analyzed. For many airports, much of this data either is not collected or can only be collected at an additional cost of time and effort. More importantly, because the operational and financial setup of each airport is different, i.e., how fees and other revenues are charged and collected, each airport will likely require a unique model for analyzing TFR impacts.
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 19 Another factor to consider in the attempt to financially model the impacts of TFRs on airports is the dynamic nature of the aviation market and the existence of alternative means of transpor- tation available to the various stakeholders. For example, an airport experiencing a one-time, short-term TFR [for example, a 2-hour President of the United States (POTUS) campaign visit to a small regional airport] may have little (if any) impact because there may be no change in operations with inbound or outbound flights that are delayed but not canceled. For longer TFRs, such as those experienced by the GA airports in New Jersey when POTUS is in residence, the impacts may be significant and far-reaching, such as flight cancellations and loss of busi- ness. Airport users (aircraft operators) have options when it comes to which airport is used for a particular purpose. Thus, one airportâs loss may be anotherâs gain, depending on the services purchased. From a national or regional airport system perspective, the impact of TFRs may net out over time. Lastly, some TFR impacts on airports may start out negative, then be mitigated over time as users and the airport operator adjust business practices to adapt to the new situation. For example, GA activity at Marthaâs Vineyard Airport (MVY) was impacted due to flight restrictions and aircraft parking locations during presidential visits to the island in the summer. Working with the Secret Service, the airport operator was able to ease some of the impacts on its users and tenants by having aircraft and pilots pre-screened. The net impacts may have been posi- tive for the airport over the course of several visits, because the Secret Service reportedly began purchasing fuel for its fleet and the influx of aides, security personnel, and media increased the airportâs concessions revenue. 3.2.2 Impacts to Aircraft Operators Perhaps the most direct and obvious impact of TFRs is to aircraft operators whose use of the airways may be restricted or delayed, thereby resulting in tangible economic impacts. Businesses whose revenue depends on flying are the most likely to suffer negative financial impacts if their revenue stream is interrupted. Depending on the nature of the TFR, these impacts may be small or large. Businesses can often adapt their business practices to mitigate some or all of the negative impacts by using alternative airports, or by changing their schedules to accom- modate shorter-term delays or restrictions. On the other hand, aviation firms that operate within a competitive regional market may experience a loss of revenues to other companiesâ for example a charter flight operator at Airport A that experiences a 3-day TFR may lose customers (and hence revenue) to a competitor operating at Airport B outside the TFR. While the net impact to the system may be small or zero, the impact to an individual business may be significant. The true financial impact to an individual or business that operates an aircraft is not the loss of revenue, but the loss of net profit resulting from a TFR. For example, if a charter company loses a $10,000 customer booking for a business trip, the financial impact to the operator is the revenue less the costs of providing the flight services that are avoided because the flight does not occur. If the variable costs of the trip are $7,500 (for pilotsâ wages, fuel, landing fees, etc.), then the gross profit that is foregone is $2,500. However, if there are fixed costs to which the foregone revenues would have contributed, such as the aircraft lease or rent for the hangar, then a proportional share of these costs must be included in the financial calculation. Every aircraft operatorâs financial situation is different; therefore, the impacts of TFRs on these group of stakeholders need to be individually determined. Quantifying the financial impacts to aircraft operators runs into the same difficulties as for airportsâlack of data and the need to model impacts individually due to the unique nature of each situation. For the most part, aircraft operators are individuals or privately held companies
20 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions that may or may not maintain detailed accounting records that would allow for effective financial modeling of impacts resulting from TFRs. In addition, because this information is confidential, most operators would likely be reluctant to share it with third parties for analysis. 3.2.3 Impacts to Aircraft Users For aircraft users (i.e., the customers of aircraft operators), the impacts of TFRs are even more difficult to estimate. First, users are a disparate group that may include corporate executives, affluent individuals, skydivers, student pilots, photographers, or sightseers. The impact of a cancelation or delay due to a TFR may range from an inconvenience to a missed business opportunity. For the most part, identifying and quantifying tangible financial impacts of TFRs on users will be very challenging due to the lack of data on who, where, and when air- craft users have been or would be impacted, as well as the inability to assign tangible values to the costs associated with any delay or cancelation. This data would need to be collected and analyzed on an airport-specific and operator-specific basis. Information might best be derived anecdotally from discussions with airport and aircraft operators. 3.2.4 Impacts to Commercial Aviation and Passengers From the analysis of existing published data and the fieldwork undertaken by the research team, there seem to be few, if any, tangible impacts of TFRs to commercial passenger opera- tions. Most TFRs exclude aircraft (and pilots and passengers) that have been screened by TSA. In addition, any scheduling interruptions due to short-interval holds are generally accommodated and built into an airlineâs schedule. For example, a 10- to 15-minute delay, due to a gate or landing hold resulting from the insertion of a VIP flight into an airportâs airspace, can easily be absorbed without disrupting scheduled operationsânot unlike weather or ATC holds. Similarly, the routing of flight plans to avoid TFR areas may add incrementally to an aircraftâs flight schedule (and operating costs), but can otherwise be accommodated by the airlines. 3.2.5 Impacts to Other Stakeholders Other aviation stakeholders include lessees of concessions at airports, FBOs, and trans- portation operators such as car rental companies and taxi services. Off-airport businesses or individuals may also be impacted, such as suppliers to concessionaires or to an FBO. Any impacts of TFRs on these entities depend largely on the frequency of TFR interruptions at an airport and on the other primary impacts on operations. Again, these impacts would be highly individualized for each specific situation and difficult to generalize across multiple airports. TFRs may also impact other groups such as TSA and/or local security agencies if operations are disrupted or changed significantly at an airport. For example, the permanent Washington, D.C., restrictions carry an administrative burden for the FAA to manage the roster of authorized pilots. 3.3 Example Impacts Examples of impacts from recent TFRs were cited in Section 1.2. Based on the references cited in the reference list, several more are listed here. These examples cover the years from 2003 to 2019. â¢ A pilot from central Florida wrote to the president in 2003, âThe TFR prohibits flight instruction in any form for the duration of the TFR. I make a living teaching flying. . . . Your last two trips grounded all flight training at 40 airports in the Tampa Bay area.â
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 21 â¢ A FBO at Chicago Midway Airport said in 2011 that they lost an average of $60,000 a day in revenue when the president visited Chicago. â¢ In 2009, transportation security officials banned flight schools from flying to and from Kalaeloa airstrip in Hawaii during the presidentâs 2-week stay in Hawaii. One company lost about $40,000. Local air operators estimated a combined loss of about half a million dollars. â¢ A Hawaii flight school said in 2017 that it lost about $15,000 every time the president visited the island. â¢ A maintenance company at Palm Beach International Airport said in early 2017 that aviation revenue was off by about 50%. Winter had normally been their busiest season. â¢ Aviation businesses in Palm Beach County, Florida, said in 2017 that the presidentâs past two weekend stays cost them about $250,000 in business, and some of their customers, worried about continued presidential visits, already are moving to other airports. â¢ In early 2017, Lantana Airport had five flight schools that were shut down for three consecu- tive weekends. Estimated losses for operators for just one weekend total about $30,000, and losses for the year could reach $200,000. The second-largest flight school at Lantana had already relocated. â¢ In Florida in 2017, airports outside the TFR inner core were less impacted. Many private jet operations moved from Palm Beach International to Boca Raton, 20 miles south. This crowded the ramp, leaving less room for light aircraft parking and operations. Weekend flight training from other airports (Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, and North Palm Beach County) was also impacted. â¢ A New Jersey company said in 2017 that 20% of its annual business was affected by the presidentâs visits because 20% of their business takes place on the weekends during the summer. â¢ A New Jersey airport found that during a weeklong TFR in August 2017, fuel sales were down 40.68%, instructor hours were down 38.81%, and flight school earnings were down 255.63% (swinging from a profit to a loss). â¢ Another business also cited the importance of seasonality in 2017, saying âWe have an eight-week summer. . . . To lose 10 days in August, itâs a 15 to 20% shot weâre not going to get in gross revenue.â 3.4 VIP TFRs VIP TFRs often have greater impacts than other types because of their size, location, and associated rules. As discussed in Section 2.3, the biggest impact from this type of TFR is for travel by the president, although VIP TFRs also are issued for travel by the vice president and visiting dignitaries such as the Pope [Thurber 2015]. TFR locations are defined using NOTAMs. They contain a place name and an area or areas defined by latitude, longitude, and altitude. Table 5 is an example of NOTAM text for a VIP TFR issued in August 2019. NOTAM text is formatted in a manner that makes it challenging to read. We have annotated the text at various points to explain each part. The terms shown are typical for presidential TFRs. The restricted region is shown on the map in Figure 10. The inner core region has a 10-nm radius around the presidentâs location (Bedminster, N.J.); in that region, regularly scheduled commercial and cargo flights are permitted, along with medical, law enforcement, and military flights supporting the president, but no other unscheduled or GA flights are permitted. The outer ring has a 30-nm radius and features 7 âcutoutâ regions along its edge, of various shapes and sizes, in order to exempt airports or busy flight routes that lie near the 30-nm boundary.
22 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions NOTAM text Explanation FDC 9/8581 ZNY NJ..AIRSPACE BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY..TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS. AUGUST 15-18, 2019 LOCAL. PURSUANT TO 49 USC 40103(B)(3), THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) CLASSIFIES THE AIRSPACE DEFINED IN THIS NOTAM AS 'NATIONAL DEFENSE AIRSPACE'. PILOTS WHO DO NOT ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES MAY BE INTERCEPTED, DETAINED, AND INTERVIEWED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT/SECURITY PERSONNEL. ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONAL ACTIONS MAY ALSO BE TAKEN AGAINST A PILOT WHO DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OR ANY SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS OR PROCEDURES ANNOUNCED IN THIS NOTAM: A) THE FAA MAY TAKE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, INCLUDING IMPOSING CIVIL PENALTIES AND THE SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF AIRMEN CERTIFICATES; OR B) THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT MAY PURSUE CRIMINAL CHARGES, INCLUDING CHARGES UNDER TITLE 49 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 46307; OR C) THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT MAY USE DEADLY FORCE AGAINST THE AIRBORNE AIRCRAFT, IF IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE AIRCRAFT POSES AN IMMINENT SECURITY THREAT. PURSUANT TO TITLE 14, SECTION 91.141 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, AIRCRAFT FLIGHT OPERATIONS ARE PROHIBITED WITHIN AN AREA DEFINED AS 30NM RADIUS OF 404116N0744043W (SBJ035006.9) SFC-17999FT MSL; EXCLUDING AN AREA DEFINED AS 1.5NM RADIUS OF 410209N0750938W (STW291013.5) SFC-17999FT MSL; EXCLUDING AN AREA DEFINED AS 1.5NM RADIUS OF 410742N0742049W (SAX078009.4) SFC- 17999FT MSL; EXCLUDING AN AREA DEFINED AS 2NM RADIUS OF 401250N0743606W (RBV288005.0) SFC-17999FT MSL; EXCLUDING AN AREA DEFINED AS 2NM RADIUS OF 401959N0750720W (ARD306011.0) SFC-17999FT MSL; EXCLUDING AN AREA DEFINED AS 1.5NM RADIUS OF 411200N0743723W (SAX345008.8) SFC-17999FT MSL; EXCLUDING AN AREA DEFINED AS 1.5NM RADIUS OF 402437N0751346W (ARD313017.5) SFC- 17999FT MSL; EXCLUDING AN AREA DEFINED AS 403608N0740334W (CRI276007.6) TO 403634N0740205W (CRI279006.4) TO 403608N0740149W (CRI275006.2) TO FDC: Flight Data Center NOTAM 9/8581: ID number 8581, issued in 2019 Location: ZNY (New York Center), NJ Type: TFR Effective Dates: Aug. 15-18 <-- Authority for TFR; possible consequences of non-compliance <-- Applicable code section for this TFR (91.141) Region definition: 30nm radius, with 7 âcutoutâ areas along edge (see Figure 10) Altitude range: Surface (SFC) to 17999 feet mean sea level (MSL) 403424N0740216W (CRI261007) TO THE POINT OF ORIGIN SFC- 1499FT MSL EFFECTIVE 1908160100 UTC (2100 LOCAL 08/15/19) UNTIL 1908182200 UTC (1800 LOCAL 08/18/19). WITHIN AN AREA DEFINED AS 10NM RADIUS OF 404116N0744043W (SBJ035006.9) SFC-17999FT MSL 1908160100-1908182200 EFFECTIVE 1908160100 UTC (2100 LOCAL 08/15/19) UNTIL 1908182200 UTC (1800 LOCAL 08/18/19). EXCEPT AS SPECIFIED BELOW AND/OR UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY ATC IN CONSULTATION WITH THE AIR TRAFFIC SECURITY COORDINATOR VIA THE DOMESTIC EVENTS NETWORK (DEN): A. ALL AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS WITHIN THE 10 NMR AREA(S) LISTED ABOVE, KNOWN AS THE INNER CORE(S), ARE PROHIBITED EXCEPT FOR: APPROVED LAW ENFORCEMENT, MILITARY AIRCRAFT DIRECTLY SUPPORTING THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE (USSS) AND THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, APPROVED AIR AMBULANCE FLIGHTS, AND REGULARLY SCHEDULED COMMERCIAL PASSENGER AND ALL-CARGO CARRIERS OPERATING UNDER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TSA-APPROVED STANDARD SECURITY PROGRAMS/PROCEDURES: Start and end times 10nm radius âinner coreâ Permitted operation types in inner core Table 5. NOTAM text for a VIP TFR.
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 23 NOTAM text Explanation AIRCRAFT OPERATOR STANDARD SECURITY PROGRAM (AOSSP), FULL ALL-CARGO AIRCRAFT OPERATOR STANDARD SECURITY PROGRAM (FACAOSSP), MODEL SECURITY PROGRAM (MSP), TWELVE FIVE STANDARD SECURITY PROGRAM (TFSSP) ALL CARGO, OR ALL-CARGO INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PROCEDURE (ACISP) AND ARE ARRIVING INTO AND/OR DEPARTING FROM 14 CFR PART 139 AIRPORTS. ALL EMERGENCY/LIFE SAVING FLIGHT (MEDICAL/LAW ENFORCEMENT/FIREFIGHTING) OPERATIONS MUST COORDINATE WITH ATC PRIOR TO THEIR DEPARTURE AT 516- 683-2966 TO AVOID POTENTIAL DELAYS. B. FOR OPERATIONS WITHIN THE AIRSPACE BETWEEN THE 10 NMR AND 30 NMR AREA(S) LISTED ABOVE, KNOWN AS THE OUTER RING(S): THE NEW YORK CLASS B AIRSPACE HUDSON RIVER SFRA EXCLUSION AND EAST RIVER SFRA EXCLUSION, 14 CFR 93.350(D), IS EXCLUDED FROM THE RESTRICTIONS IN THIS TFR. ALL OTHER AIRCRAFT OPERATING WITHIN THE OUTER RING(S) LISTED ABOVE ARE LIMITED TO AIRCRAFT ARRIVING OR DEPARTING LOCAL AIRFIELDS, AND WORKLOAD PERMITTING, ATC MAY AUTHORIZE TRANSIT OPERATIONS. AIRCRAFT MAY NOT LOITER. ALL AIRCRAFT MUST BE ON AN ACTIVE IFR OR A FILED VFR FLIGHT PLAN WITH A DISCRETE CODE ASSIGNED BY AN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (ATC) FACILITY. AIRCRAFT MUST BE SQUAWKING THE DISCRETE CODE PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AND Permitted operation types in outer ring AT ALL TIMES WHILE IN THE TFR AND MUST REMAIN IN TWO- WAY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ATC. C. THE FOLLOWING OPERATIONS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED WITHIN THIS TFR: FLIGHT TRAINING, PRACTICE INSTRUMENT APPROACHES, AEROBATIC FLIGHT, GLIDER OPERATIONS, PARACHUTE OPERATIONS, ULTRALIGHT, HANG GLIDING, BALLOON OPERATIONS, AGRICULTURE/CROP DUSTING, ANIMAL POPULATION CONTROL FLIGHT OPERATIONS, BANNER TOWING OPERATIONS, SIGHTSEEING OPERATIONS, MAINTENANCE TEST FLIGHTS, MODEL AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS, MODEL ROCKETRY, UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (UAS), AND UTILITY AND PIPELINE SURVEY OPERATIONS. D. UAS OPERATORS WHO DO NOT COMPLY WITH APPLICABLE AIRSPACE RESTRICTIONS ARE WARNED THAT PURSUANT TO 18 U.S.C. SECTION 3056A, 10 U.S.C. SECTION 130I, AND 6 U.S.C. SECTION 121 (AS AMENDED), THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS), UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE (USSS), AND THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) MAY TAKE SECURITY ACTION THAT RESULTS IN THE INTERFERENCE, DISRUPTION, SEIZURE, DAMAGING, OR DESTRUCTION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT DEEMED TO POSE A CREDIBLE SAFETY OR SECURITY THREAT TO PROTECTED PERSONNEL, FACILITIES, OR ASSETS. E. FAA RECOMMENDS THAT ALL AIRCRAFT OPERATORS CHECK NOTAMS FREQUENTLY FOR POSSIBLE CHANGES TO THIS TFR PRIOR TO OPERATIONS WITHIN THIS REGION. 1908160100- 1908182200 END Prohibited operation types within the TFR Possible penalties Table 5. (Continued).
24 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions Inside the outer ring, GA flights are allowed as long as they are on a filed flight plan, squawking a discrete code on their transponder, and communicating with air traffic controllers. No loitering is permitted, and the following types of operations are specifically banned: â¢ Flight training â¢ Practice instrument approaches â¢ Aerobatic flight â¢ Glider operations â¢ Parachute operations â¢ Ultralight â¢ Hang gliding â¢ Balloon operations â¢ Agriculture/crop dusting â¢ Animal population control flight operations â¢ Banner towing operations â¢ Sightseeing operations Figure 10. Restricted areas for VIP TFR, August 2019.
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 25 â¢ Maintenance test flights â¢ Model aircraft operations â¢ Model rocketry â¢ UAS â¢ Utility and pipeline survey operations None of the operations in this list can fly in either ring, and GA flights are not permitted in the inner core. Of course, the impact of a given TFR on a given airport depends on how many such operations wanted to fly in the first place. This varies with both the size of the airport and the size of the TFR. For a VIP restriction, the most important factors about the TFR are its duration, location, and frequency. Longer duration TFRs have an outsized effect compared to briefer ones. This does not scale linearly with time. Short durations, up to an hour or two, have a small or sometimes even negligible effect on many airport users. Durations of 12â24 hours will affect operations at airports inside the inner ring. However, if the geography and location of the TFR are such that there are no GA airports in the inner ring, the effect will clearly be less. Durations of 2 days or more lead to significant numbers of potential aviation customers who either forego flying or go somewhere else, resulting in lost revenue for airport businesses. Frequency is another important factor. If presidential visits are years apart, the affected businesses consider it to be a one-time disruption; a severe storm might have the same effect. But if a presidential TFR occurs four times in a month, or 10 times in a year, the frequent recurrence exacerbates the effect. Furthermore, the events are unpredictable. Presidential travel plans can change on short notice, and trips are rarely announced more than a week in advance. This uncertainty causes many people to avoid flying at airports that are frequently inside a TFR when in effect, even when there are no restrictions, because they do not want to risk a TFR popping up at the last minute, forcing them to cancel a planned flight. These latter effects, voiced by many stakeholders over the last 10â20 years, were found during the course of the research. Section 2.3 showed some data about presidential travel. Most presidential trips are brief. Typically, the president will depart from Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D.C.â which is inside the Washington, D.C. FRZ, thus requiring no special air traffic restrictionâ at midday and fly to any U.S. city. When his plane lands at that cityâs airport, other departures and arrivals will be held up, but as soon as he deplanes and gets into a car, the airport resumes normal operations. This delay is usually only 5â15 minutes. The motorcade might then drive to a downtown hotel, or a factory, where the president delivers a speech and meets with local officials. After 2 hours, he rides back to the airport, boards the plane, and flies back to Wash- ington, D.C. During the time he is on the ground in this city, a TFR will have been in place, centered on his primary location, where the event is being held. In cases such as this, a GA pilot who had planned a trip might have to fly 3 hours earlier, or 3 hours later. This might be a simple inconvenience or a major disruption, depending on the nature of the flight. However, weather or mechanical issues often delay flights for the same length of time. If the VIP visit is rare, most affected pilots and businesses can absorb the effects as expected costs of doing business. Even if the cityâs main airport is close enough to the presidentâs event so that it is inside the 10-nm-radius inner core, scheduled commercial flights can still operate. TFRs have little impact on major airports such as Chicago OâHare or New York JFK because almost all of the traffic there is not affected by the restriction.
26 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions Occasionally the presidentâs schedule calls for him to stay overnight. This can extend the duration of the TFR to 12â24 hours or even longer, since there is always a bubble around him that restrict access in the air and on the ground. Data from some of these trips were analyzed and those findings are in Section 4.1. The number of operations at airports inside the inner core of those TFRs was reduced by about 90% over regular levels, during the time when the TFR was in effect. Even if these events do not recur, the impacts are more severe, forcing up to an entire day of flights to be canceled. Some of the flights might be rescheduled for the days before or after the TFR, but some might not be flown at all. The specific terms of each TFR can vary. Details are included in the NOTAM issued with each event. One contrast is âgatewayâ screening. For the New Jersey VIP TFRs, no opera- tions are allowed within the 10-nm inner ring. At Palm Beach, however, five airports have been designated for gateway screening, meaning pilots departing from one of those airports and traveling to Lantana can undergo security screening before departing. These gateway airports are: â¢ Orlando International Airport (MCO) â¢ Ft. LauderdaleâHollywood International Airport (FLL) â¢ Westchester County White Plains Airport (HPN) â¢ Teterboro Airport (TEB) â¢ Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) 3.5 Other TFR Types The reason for a restriction is an important factor in determining its impact. Table 1 lists five types: special events, natural hazards, space operations, security, and VIP movement. The impact of VIP TFRs is the main focus, but this section describes TFRs issued for other reasons. The impact of all of these other types of TFRs is much lower than for VIP TFRs because they usually do not include busy airports or prohibit specific types of flights. 3.5.1 Special Events 126.96.36.199 Fort Wayne, Indiana The Fort Wayne Air Show was held June 8â9, 2019. Events were scheduled from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. The show was held at the Fort Wayne International Airport in Indiana, which has scheduled commercial service to Chicago, Atlanta, and other cities. The NOTAM for the air show contained the following text: FDC 9/5260 ZAU IN..AIRSPACE CHICAGO CENTER, FORT WAYNE, IN..TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTION. PURSUANT TO 14 CFR SECTION 91.145, MANAGEMENT OF AIRCRAFT OPER- ATIONS IN THE VICINITY OF AERIAL DEMONSTRATIONS AND MAJOR SPORTING EVENTS, AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS ARE PROHIBITED WITHIN AN AREA DEFINED AS 5NM RADIUS OF 405845N0851117W. . . . DUE TO USAF THUNDERBIRDS AND OTHER HIGH-SPEED AERIAL DEMONSTRATIONS AT THE FORT WAYNE OPEN HOUSE AIRSHOW. UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY ATC, FORT WAYNE APPROACH 127.2. The last sentence is important: âUnless authorized by ATC.â With fighter jets and many other types of aircraft featured in the show, the initial statement is that âaircraft operations are prohibited,â but the ATC exception allows the scheduled commercial traffic to operate. A special notice was sent out to passengers to allow extra time for traffic when driving to the airport [Fort Wayne Airport 2019]; however, the flights departed and arrived as planned. Any other operations such as GA or flight training were prohibited. However, due to the long
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 27 advance notice, and the fact that the event only occurs once per year, most pilots are able to plan around this event. In addition, there is another airport on the opposite side of the city, Smith Field Airport, that handles most GA traffic in the area, and it was not affected by the air show TFR. Overall, the impact of this special event TFR was low. 188.8.131.52 Reno, Nevada Reno hosts a major air show, the Reno Air Races, each year in September. The Reno Pylon Race Airshow, a practice event for pilots entering the races, was held in June 2019. The NOTAM was similar to the one shown above for Fort Wayne. The restricted area only includes Reno- Stead Airport, which is a GA airport about 10 miles north of downtown Reno. Reno-Tahoe International Airport lies outside the area of this TFR, so its commercial traffic was not affected. Most air shows are held at airports, such as this one, that have no commercial traffic. 184.108.40.206 Oshkosh, Wisconsin One of the worldâs largest air shows, AirVenture, hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Asso- ciation, is held in Oshkosh each summer. More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin in 2019. At Wittman alone, there were 16,807 aircraft operations in the 11-day period from July 19â29, an average of approximately 127 takeoffs/landings per hour [Experimental Aircraft Association 2019]. TFRs associated with this event led to positive financial impact for most businesses associated with this airport and others nearby due to the increased traffic from air show visitors and partici- pants. The TFR prohibits traffic during a 3-hour period each day of the show when high-speed aerial demonstrations are taking place. There is a high volume of traffic at other times. Some special event airspace restrictions are set up as a benefit to flight operators, prevent- ing airspace overcrowding in the days surrounding an event by people traveling to the event. However, some local pilots may choose not to fly rather than risk violating the terms of a TFR. Most of the special events that merit TFRs are scheduled well in advance. In the case of air shows, TFRs probably have a positive overall impact to the aviation community because they allow an unusually high volume of spectators and participants to fly into the airport where the show occurs. The Super Bowl is a boost to the local economy, although the TFR might hinder some specific pilots for that week or weekend. Figure 11. Air show performance.
28 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions 220.127.116.11 Super Bowl For Super Bowl LIII, held in February 2019 in Atlanta, the FAA set up a web page well in advance describing air traffic procedures for that week for ATL and 10 surrounding airports. The focus is on traffic management, i.e., specifying routes to be used and encouraging pilots to file flight plans early to minimize delays. However, a large TFR was in effect on game day [FAA 2019]: The FAA will publish a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) for Super Bowl LIII centered on Mercedes-Benz Stadium. At this time, we expect the TFR will be active from 4 p.m. EST (2100z) until 11:59 p.m. EST (0459z) on Sunday, February 3. The TFR will have a 10-nm inner core and a 30-nm outer ring. The TFR will not affect regularly scheduled commercial flights flying in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Emergency medical, public safety and military aircraft may enter the TFR in coordination with air traffic control. The information page also says: Practice approaches to airports within 40 nm of ATL will be extremely limited or unavailable due to increased aircraft activity. Student training flights and flight schools are highly encouraged to operate at other airports between January 30, 2019 and February 4, 2019. Training flights for student solo cross- country flights, touch-and-go landings, low approaches and practice instrument approaches are discouraged. This clearly affects flight schools in the area, similar to the way a weeklong VIP TFR would prevent student flights. However, the Super Bowl will not be held again in Atlanta for several years; therefore, the effects from extended recurring restrictions do not apply in the same way. 18.104.22.168 Other Outdoor Sports Event TFRs For several years, a long-standing NOTAM has been used to restrict air traffic over certain sporting events. The current version of the NOTAM was issued July 20, 2017 and based on CFR 99.7, special security instructions. All aircraft operations are prohibited within a 3-nm radius, up to 3000 feet above ground level, of a qualifying stadium or other sporting venue, which is any stadium or other sporting venue with a seating capacity of at least 30,000, hosting a regular- season or post-season Major League Baseball, National Football League, or NCAA Division 1 football game, or a NASCAR Cup, Indy Cup, or Champ Series race. The TFR lasts from one hour before the scheduled start of the event to one hour after the end of the event. Aircraft arriving or departing from a designated airport can be exempted; this allows, for example, flights from La Guardia Airport to pass over New York Mets baseball games, where the stadium is adjacent to the airport. Due to the low altitude ceiling, these do not affect long-haul flight routings, only local traffic. Their purpose is to prevent banner towing and other potential risks to the assembled crowd. 3.5.2 Hazards Northern Minnesota is home to several mining operations in the Mesabi Range, where taconite, a type of iron ore, is found. The mining companies perform blasting on a regular basis. These blasts present a hazard to aircraft, so a TFR is issued prohibiting traffic, usually from the surface up to 4,500 above sea level. Figure 12 shows the location of recent TFRs near Hibbing, Minn., and the nearby Mesabi Range. The blasts are usually done on a regular schedule, and the TFRs are issued several days in advance of each blast to alert pilots to the danger. Sometimes a spotter plane is flown over the blast area to communicate with other aircraft during the blast. This allows aircraft to arrive or depart the airport while avoiding flying directly over the mine blast. Figure 13 shows the features within the perimeter of a recent blast.
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 29 Airport (HIB) Figure 12. TFRs issued for blasting hazards from mining operations in Minnesota. Figure 13. Diagram of recent blast at mine near Hibbing, Minn. (source: Range Regional Airport).
30 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions The NOTAM issued for the TFR associated with this blast specified that restrictions were in effect within a 2-nm radius of the blast, from the surface up to 4,500 feet above ground level, pursuant to 14 CFR section 91.137(a)(1). Only relief aircraft operations under the direction of Hibbing Taconite were authorized in that airspace. The TFR was in effect for 1 hour, from 10:30 am to 11:30 am local time. Range Regional Airport (HIB) is the only airport in the vicinity of these blasts. HIB has scheduled commercial service to Minneapolis as well as GA traffic. The main runway 13-31 is oriented so that arrivals landing on runway 13 would pass directly over the blasting site on their approach. Figure 14 shows the details of the instrument approach to that runway. It says that pilots should cross below 3,300 feet altitude at a distance of 5.9nm from the end of the runway. However, that location is inside the 2-nm radius of the TFR, so if the TFR is active, this approach would not be available. Traffic is light enough that pilots can either wait until the TFR is over (at most 1 hour), or communicate with the spotter plane to maneuver to stay clear of the blasting area. A representative of the airport reported no incidents or disruptions to air traffic due to blasting. The mining companies have carefully shared their plans with the FAA and arranged for TFRs as required. As a result, area pilots are well aware of the potential hazard and are able to avoid flying over those areas during blasts. TFRs are often issued to control air traffic in the vicinity of wildfires. This is to prevent damage to aircraft engines from smoke and particulate matter, and to avoid interference with firefighting crews, who may be operating a variety of aircraft to spray fire retardant or to monitor the fireâs spread. TFRs can be put in place to manage disaster relief, for example, following hurricanes. The impact on local airports is usually a minor concern compared to recovery efforts, but these restrictions can affect flight operators. While TFRs put in place for hazards can pop up on short notice, they generally have a much lower impact on airports and aviation businesses than VIP TFRs, for the simple reason that there is often no airport within the restricted area. Most wildfires tend to occur in wilderness. Figure 14. Approach to Runway 13 at Range Regional Airport (source: FAA).
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 31 The TFRs put in place to support firefighting operations, as well as to keep out any traffic not directly contributing to the firefighting effort, come in many different shapes and sizes, as evidenced by the sample of hazard TFRs in September 2019, shown in red outline in Figure 15. Figure 16 shows a view of the western United States on a day in September 2019, with TFRs plotted in red. Most of these were for firefighting operations. Their size and shape vary, according to the size and location of the fire and the current firefighting operation. Figure 17 shows an example of a hazard TFR that did occur near airports and cities. Due to the âSnoqualmie Fireâ that broke out near Layton, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City, in September 2019, the four-sided region labeled TFR-9/3047 was established to protect firefighting operations. 26nm NE of Medford, Oregon 8nm SW of Big Pine, California 16nm NE of Quincy, California 20nm NW of Cedar City, Utah Figure 15. Fire TFRs can take various shapes.
32 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions The TFR was initially in effect Sept. 3 from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm local time. The next day, a second NOTAM was issued with the same restricted region, to be in effect from Sept. 4 8:00 am until Oct. 1. The fire crewsâ efforts were effective, and later the same day that NOTAM was canceled and a new one was issued, this time restricting traffic only over the smaller circular region in Figure 17, from 1:00 pm on Sept. 4 until Oct. 1. However, this NOTAM was canceled before Sept. 8. The hazard NOTAMs for firefighting operations are often issued for periods of several weeks, for example, for a 30-day period, or from the current day until the end of the month. If the fire is brought under control more quickly, the NOTAM will be canceled. If more time is needed, again the current NOTAM will be canceled and a new one will be issued. Because of this, several different NOTAMs may be issued for the same geographical area, and the count of NOTAMs can be a misleading indicator of the severity or frequency of this type of restriction. An AOPA article from 2017 [Namowitz 2017d] describes the flexible nature of firefight- ing TFRs: Not every wildfire results in a TFR being activated, however, even if some aerial firefighting aircraft are called in to extinguish the blaze. Helicopters using buckets at low altitude might not warrant a TFRâs activation. Not all fires that occur in sparsely inhabited terrain are truly remote: Shortly before a TFR was to go active Aug. 23, 2017, in Reno, Nevada, for VIP travel, lightning set off five fires in the Reno-Carson City area. The result of some hurried interagency coordination was a TFR for the fires being embedded in the VIP TFR, with firefighting aircraft flying missions inside the restricted airspace. That change indicated another element of flexibility that can affect a TFRâs specific procedures. âNot all Fire TFRs are established for 24 hours a day,â [an official] said. âWe often make them valid for certain block hours of time, such as 0800 to 2100 local so that GA users of the airspace have free access to fly in the area in the early morning hours.â Figure 16. Hazard TFRs located throughout the western United States, September 2019 (source: SkyVector).
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 33 Figure 17. Hazard TFR issued for firefighting near Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 4, 2019.
34 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions 3.5.3 Space Operations Space operations have attracted the attention of other researchers, focusing on aspects such as equitable access to airspace. The on-demand SUA concept studied by National Aero- nautics and Space Administration (NASA) [Metron Aviation 2011] included a use case for space launches and landings, noting that the current practice is to block out a large region of airspace as a potential debris field in case the spacecraft explodes. However, lengthy launch delays have not resulted in opening the airspace to aircraft during the period of delay. Increased coordination would reduce the impact of these airspace restrictions. Because of the projected increase in space operation frequency in coming years, impacts from these TFRs may grow. A recent report featured the projected growth shown in Figure 18 [Congressional Research Service 2019]. In April 2019, the FAA issued a proposed rule titled âStreamlined Launch and Reentry Licensing Requirements,â consolidating and revising licensing and safety regulations across several types of operations and vehicles. It is estimated that the proposed rule would affect 12 operators that currently have an active license or permit to conduct launch or reentry operations, and that are planning approximately 276 launches between 2019 and 2023 [Federal Register 2019]. In July 2019, the AOPA submitted comments on the proposed rule [Namowitz 2019], pointing out some inconsistencies in risk and safety calculations. Specifically, the proposed rule would increase the size of Â§91.143 TFRs and âshut down surrounding general aviation airports and flight paths unnecessarilyâ [Duke 2019]. The AOPA comments encouraged the FAA to consider the economic and access impact on GA caused by commercial space activity and advocated a 72-hour minimum notice time for NOTAMs closing air routes during a spacecraft launch or re-entry. 3.5.4 Security Based on the data shown in Table 4, security TFRs account for six of the top seven most frequently issued NOTAMs. These TFRs occur repeatedly in a few locations, with a different NOTAM issued for each day or each week. Because the location does not change, these TFRs are predictable and their impact is low. A TFR at Beale Air Force Base in California has been issued once per week since at least October 2018. Each week, a new NOTAM is issued establishing the TFR from the next Sunday Figure 18. Commercial space launch forecast (based on information from FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation).
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 35 at 22:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) through the following Sunday at 21:59 UTC, for a radius of 10nm around the base. The restricted airspace ranges from 4,100 feet to 18,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), which allows planes from nearby Yuba County Airport (MYV) and Sutter County Airport (O52) to fly underneath the TFR. A TFR at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, with a NOTAM issued most weeks, usually blocks off the airspace for the entire following week, but sometimes a day or two less. This restricted airspace has a semicircular shape, shown in red on the chart in Figure 19. The small rectangular region is in force from the surface to 2,400 feet, and the remaining area from 2,400 feet up to 18,000 feet MSL. Near San Angelo, Texas, is a TFR that is in force for only part of a day, usually 18 hours. It has a separate NOTAM issued for each day, usually 5 days a week, with the TFR not active on weekends. This region was shown in Figure 4. All of these recurring TFRs are used by U.S. CBP to operate large unmanned aircraft, or drones, for border surveillance. The vehicles are based at these military installations, and the TFR areas are in place to give them a way to climb to 18,000 feet, above which is Class A controlled airspace; once the drones reach that altitude, all traffic is separated by ATC, and drones can fly anywhere. The drones have limited maneuvering capability, so the airspace is blocked off to protect other aircraft from coming too close to them during their climb or descent. Figure 19. Grand Forks, N.D. recurring TFR (source: SkyVector).
36 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions Some pilotsâ groups have protested about the near-constant closure of a large amount of airspace; these procedures have been in places for several years and continue to when this report was written [AOPA 2008; Pilots of America 2013; Namowitz 2017e]. For military and security TFRs, the relative permanence of these areas renders them less relevant to assessing economic impact. Large regions of military airspace affect routes taken by commercial flights. NASA researchers have studied the benefits of an on-demand SUA concept [Metron Aviation 2011], which allows airlines to coordinate contingency plans around or through SUA. These plans are flexible and dynamic, enabling military users to secure SUA when they need it, and enabling airlines to exploit the SUA airspace when available. This is a long-term persistent effect that imposes a small cost on airspace users. The same could be said about the long-term TFRs over the Disney parks. A commercial airline represen- tative acknowledged that there is fuel and time cost associated with these routes, but it is not something that they track. 3.6 FAA Grant Assurances Airports that receive public funding from a grant must satisfy certain conditions in order to qualify for this funding [FAA 2012]. These conditions may specify that the airport must be open a certain percentage of time, and researchers examined the possible effect of TFRs on the ability of small airports to comply with FAA grant assurances. FAA web page, FAA Grant Assurance (Obligations), explains what grant assurances are and how they are part of the FAAâs Airport Improvement Program (AIP), as described in the following excerpt [FAA 2016]: When airport owners or sponsors, planning agencies, or other organizations accept funds from FAA- administered airport financial assistance programs, they must agree to certain obligations (or assurances). These obligations require the recipients to maintain and operate their facilities safely and efficiently and in accordance with specified conditions. The assurances may be attached to the application or the grant for Federal assistance and become part of the final grant offer or in restrictive covenants to property deeds. The duration of these obligations depends on the type of recipient, the useful life of the facility being developed, and other conditions stipulated in the assurances. From the Airport Sponsor Assurances, March 2014, the following excerpts are relevant [FAA 2014]: 19. Operation and Maintenance. a. The airport and all facilities which are necessary to serve the aeronautical users of the airport, other than facilities owned or controlled by the United States, shall be operated at all times in a safe and serviceable condition and in accordance with the minimum standards as may be required or prescribed by applicable Federal, state, and local agencies for maintenance and operation. It will not cause or permit any activity or action thereon which would interfere with its use for airport purposes. It will suitably operate and maintain the airport and all facilities thereon or connected therewith, with due regard to climatic and flood conditions. Any proposal to temporarily close the airport for nonaeronautical purposes must first be approved by the Secretary. In furtherance of this assurance, the sponsor will have in effect arrangements for 1) Operating the airportâs aeronautical facilities whenever required; A TFR is not a proposal to temporarily close an airport; for example, if an airport is closed for a day in order to host a footrace on its runway, that would have to be approved. See âNonaeronautical Eventsâ below. 22. Economic Nondiscrimination. a. It will make the airport available as an airport for public use on reasonable terms and without unjust discrimination to all types, kinds and classes of aeronautical activities, including commercial aeronautical activities offering services to the public at the airport.
Impacts of Airspace Restrictions 37 27. Use by Government Aircraft. It will make available all of the facilities of the airport developed with Federal financial assistance and all those usable for landing and takeoff of aircraft to the United States for use by Government aircraft in common with other aircraft at all times without charge, except, if the use by Govern- ment aircraft is substantial, charge may be made for a reasonable share, proportional to such use, for the cost of operating and maintaining the facilities used. Unless otherwise determined by the Secretary, or otherwise agreed to by the sponsor and the using agency, substantial use of an airport by Government aircraft will be considered to exist when operations of such aircraft are in excess of those which, in the opinion of the Secretary, would unduly interfere with use of the landing areas by other authorized aircraft . . . Assurance #27 could be cited in order to justify an airport asking the government to pay for its use of airport facilities. Recurring VIP visits to the same location can result in use by gov- ernment aircraft that could be deemed âsubstantial.â As one example, anecdotal reports from Marthaâs Vineyard in Massachusetts suggest that the Secret Service buying fuel for its planes and helicopters there may have offset some of the negative impact of presidential visits. However, to researchersâ knowledge, no official claim was made on the basis of a grant assurance. Excerpts from FAA Order 5190.6B, Chapter 7, Airport Operations include [FAA 2009]: 7.8. Requirement to Operate the Airport. A fundamental obligation on the sponsor is to keep the airport open for public use. Grant Assurance 19, Operation and Maintenance, requires the sponsor to protect the public using the airport by adopting and enforcing rules, regulations, and ordinances as necessary to ensure safe and efficient flight operations. Accordingly, the sponsor is more than a passive landlord because the assurance federally obligates it to maintain and operate the aeronautical facilities and common-use areas for the benefit of the public. 7.21. Temporary Closing of an Airport. a. Closing for Hazardous Conditions. Airport owners are required to mark any temporary hazardous conditions physically and to warn users adequately through the use of NOTAMs. This implies a duty to provide similar warning notices when an airport is completely closed to air traffic as a result of temporary field conditions that make using the airport hazardous. Prompt action should be taken to restore the airport facilities to a serviceable condition as soon as possible. b. Closing for Special Events. 49 U.S.C. Â§ 47107(a)(8), implemented by Grant Assurance 19.a, Operation and Maintenance, requires that any proposal to close the airport temporarily for nonaeronautical purposes must be approved by the FAA. (1). Nonaeronautical Events. An airport developed or improved with federal funds may not be closed to use the airport facilities for special outdoor events, such as sports car races, county fairs, parades, car testing, model airplane events, etc., without FAA approval. This has been the FAA policy since 1961 as outlined in Compliance Requirements Part 6.00 (July 1961). In certain circumstances where promoting aviation awareness through such nonaeronautical activities as model airplane flying, etc., the FAA does support the limited use of airport facilities so long as there is not total closure of the airport. In these cases, safeguards need to be established to protect the aeronautical use of the airport while the nonaeronautical activities are in progress and to ensure that safety is not compromised. (2). Aeronautical Events. There will be occasions when airports may be closed for brief periods for aeronautical events. Examples include an air show designed to promote a particular segment of aviation, or annual fly-ins, and aviation conventions. In such cases, airport management should limit the period the airport will be closed to the minimum time consistent with the activity. Such closing should be well publicized in advance including issuing NOTAMs to minimize any inconvenience to the flying public. There is no clause in the grant assurances that specifically addresses TFRs. As a result, there could be conflicts between the occurrence of a TFR and grant assurance requirements. However, researchers found no examples of this being used as the basis for a complaint in the FAAâs Part 16 Decision Database (available at https://part16.airports.faa.gov/). If such a case is made, the FAA might need to clarify whether a temporary airport closure because of a TFR can be construed as a violation of a grant assurance.
38 Understanding Impacts to Airports From Temporary Flight Restrictions The airport in St. Maryâs, Georgia (4J6) closed in September 2017 due to permanent restrictions from a TFR at a nearby military base, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. Congress appropriated funds to repay the $5 million of AIP funds and authorized the airfieldâs closure [Del Blazo 2017]. The Department of Defense recognized the TFR-related closure impact on the airport tenants and, as of 2017, was reviewing the leases; however, there has been no determination about how they might be compensated [Jackson 2017]. The economic impact on the tenants has not been decided.