AOPA knows a Mickey Mouse rule when it sees one.
As such, it is calling for the immediate removal of the flight
restrictions over Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in
California. That, after an FAA spokesman told CNN that there is "no
specific, credible threat for Disney."
In an angry letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, AOPA
President Phil Boyer said that the association had "reluctantly
accepted" the code orange airspace restrictions over New York and
Washington, D.C., because the tragic history of 9/11 suggests a
continued threat to these cities.
"The government pledged to use concrete, threat-based
intelligence to issue airspace and other transportation
restrictions," Boyer said, "and yet they concede there is no
concrete threat to Mickey and Minnie. So why is general aviation
being singled out this time?"
Already politicians like Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley
are using the Disney example to grandstand for their own
airspace restrictions even though there have been no credible
threats against those areas either. AOPA is working to fend off
those unwarranted airspace grabs as well.
officials have wanted to eliminate air traffic over the parks long
before 9/11," Boyer said. "Did they employ lobbyists to convince
FAA to finally 'ban' general aviation in the guise of security?
"AOPA and its almost 400,000 members cannot tolerate the
indiscriminate 'Mickey Mouse' temporary flight restrictions placed
around Disney World and Disneyland," Boyer told Blakey.
"AOPA requests immediate removal of the
Boyer also told Blakey that the New York and Washington air
defense identification zone (ADIZ) restrictions had created
operational problems for both pilots and government air traffic
controllers. He reminded her that AOPA had submitted a series of
proposals to alleviate many of these problems while maintaining the
desired level of airspace security, yet FAA has not yet responded
to those ideas.
The AOPA Letter To Blakey
Dear Administrator Blakey,
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has reluctantly
accepted the airspace restrictions imposed by "Code Orange" in
Washington, D.C. for several weeks, and most recently in the New
York City area. Both venues were targeted in the tragic attacks of
September 11, 2001. By this fact of history regarding these two
major U.S. cities, it can be assumed to have a continued threat
level. The ADIZ restrictions imposed have created operational
problems for both our pilots and government air traffic
controllers. To that end, last week AOPA put forth a series of
proposals to alleviate many of these problems, yet would maintain
the desired level of airspace security, which have gone
The Association and its almost 400,000 members cannot,
however, tolerate the indiscriminate, "Mickey Mouse," Temporary
Flight Restriction (TFR) placed around Disney World in Florida, and
Disneyland in California. FAA's own chief spokesman told CNN "there
has been no credible threat" to these facilities. So, we ask, why
are they being singled out at this time? Is it due to the
long-standing wish of Disney Park officials to eliminate air
traffic over their facilities, dating back prior to 9/11/01? Is it
because they have employed lobbyists to convince the Federal
Aviation Administration to accomplish this, under the guise of
We have been encouraged that the government has pledged to
use concrete, threat based intelligence to issue airspace and other
transportation restrictions. This recent action over the theme
parks in Florida and California, both heavily traveled pieces of
airspace, contradicts that pledge.
AOPA requests the immediate removal of the