The FAA has established a “temporary” flight restriction (TFR) along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona and New Mexico. The TFR is in effect from 12,000 to 14,000 feet and is active from 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. daily. What makes it so ominous is its size and duration. The 300-nm-long corridor, 17-nm wide in most places, is to prevent U.S. Customs and Border Patrol unmanned surveillance aircraft (UAVs) from colliding with other civilian aircraft. But this TFR hardly seems “temporary.” It’s scheduled to be in effect until December 31 and will likely be renewed next year. “Even though the TFR is limited to 12,000 to 14,000 feet and evening and night hours, AOPA believes that the use of ‘temporary’ large-scale flight restrictions for yearlong UAV operations is not appropriate,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. “We are appealing to the FAA and security officials for less restrictive alternatives for these types of operations.” AOPA staff met with FAA and security officials last Friday to find alternatives to the current use of large TFRs to protect UAV flights.
Source: AOPA ePilot