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Mon, May 05, 2003

Leader Of Important Congressional Panel Raises Questions About Disney TFRs

Rep. Istook: "Mickey Mouse TFRs"

A leading member of Congress has a few questions about what he calls the "Mickey Mouse TFRs" over Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California.

In a letter to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK), the new chairman of the House Transportation Subcommittee, raised important questions about the legitimacy of the TFRs.

These TFRs were put in place after some vaguely worded language restricting banner-towing operations over certain sporting events was included in the 2003 FAA Appropriations Act.

Some lawmakers made it clear to the Department of Transportation and FAA that the "intent of Congress" was to provide for flight restrictions over the Disney theme parks as well.

But now Chairman Istook wants to know whether that represented the intent of all members of the conference committee which wrote the language.

"AOPA supports Chairman Istook's efforts to review the Disney TFRs," said Andy Cebula, AOPA Senior Vice President for Government and Technical Affairs. "Much as Mayor Daley did to justify destroying Meigs Field in Chicago, others are also using 'national security' as a ruse to place limits on general aviation for reasons that have little to do with terrorist threats."

FMI: www.aopa.org, www.house.gov/istook

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