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U.S. Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR)

Occasionally when you fly to or within U.S. airspace, you may find your aircraft rerouted or unable to land as planned due to a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR). The FAA issues TFRs to restrict aircraft from flying over certain areas for safety or security reasons. Some TFRs are issued far in advance, such as over planned sporting events, but other TFRs may be issued on short notice, such as over a wildfire where multiple firefighting aircraft are already using the airspace.

What Does a TFR Mean?

If your aircraft is not participating in the event or activity for which the TFR has been issued, it cannot takeoff, land or fly through the defined airspace during that time. TFRs are issued as Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) and provided as part of your pilot’s flight briefing. A real-time map of current temporary flight restrictions can be found here.

When are TFRs Issued?

The FAA commonly issues TFRs to restrict aircraft in the following areas or situations:

  • Disaster/hazard areas – Clears the airspace to allow rescue, law enforcement, news media, or supply aircraft to assist in a disaster or hazardous incident on the ground
  • Emergency conditions – Clears the airspace if the FAA detects an emergency situation that prevent safe operation of the ATC system
  • Presidential or other VIP security – Restricts airspace over any location being visited by the current U.S. President, Vice President and various other public figures. These are often issued on short notice and can “travel” with the public figure. Washington D.C. itself has a Special Flight Rules Area, which is like a permanent TFR.
  • Space flight operations – Clears airspace of all aircraft to allow safe space vehicle launches
  • Airshows – Clears the airspace during aerial demonstrations to prevent midair collisions
  • Major sporting events and stadiums – Restricts airspace use over large crowds of people for security purposes. For stadiums with a seating capacity of 30,000 or more people hosting a major league baseball, football (including college football) or motor speedway event, a TFR is generally issued for one hour prior to the event start to one hour after the event concludes.

How Can a TFR Affect You?

Unauthorized aircraft entering a TFR can create undesirable circumstances, even if the violation was unintentional. At best, the pilot’s certificate may be revoked. At worst (such as entering a Presidential TFR), your aircraft may be flanked by fighter aircraft and forced to land at an airport not of your choosing, with all on board detained for questioning.

As a business or private aircraft, you are likely restricted from operating within a TFR. You may need to change your schedule to depart earlier or later to avoid a TFR. Also, since some TFRs are issued on a moment’s notice, your aircraft could be re-routed to avoid entering a TFR.

To avoid such unforeseen delays, get in touch with your Jetex representative to secure the latest updates on temporary flight restrictions.

Get in touch with us today.

Jetex Dubai
+971 4 2124000

Jetex Miami
+1 305 306 4000

Alternatively, read more about other permits and permissions required when flying to the U.S.