June 14, 2011 By Kate Sarsfield
US business and general aviation trade associations have called on the Transportation Security Administration to “work with industry to minimise the impact of temporary flight restrictions on general aviation businesses”. Temporary flight restrictions are designed to protect and support presidential travel, but the National Business Aviation Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Air Transportation Association, Helicopter Association International, General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association argue that they can directly result in loss of revenue at aviation businesses, including fixed-based operations, corporate flight departments, air charter operators, maintenance facilities, flight schools and helicopter and heliport operators.
In a letter to TSA administrator John Pistole, the associations said the Chicago Midway airport FBO loses an average of $60,000 in revenue daily when the US president visits the Chicago area, while helicopter air tour operators in Hawaii and Las Vegas experience losses in excess of $150,000 during each presidential visit.
“We believe that we now are at a stage where practical and pragmatic steps can be identified to improve [temporary flight restrictions] design and implementation without in any way compromising the security of the president,” said the associations.
“We request the Department of Homeland Security develop procedures, with industry consultation, that would allow aviation businesses and operators to continue operating near normal levels but address the security needs necessary to protect the president during travel.”
Source: FLIGHT GLOBAL