Four and a half years ago I complained about a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) for President Bush’s visit to Ottawa. I like President Obama a lot better than I liked President Bush — and I’m very excited that he’s making his first foreign visit as president to my city — but out of fairness, I still have to complain about the TFR.
You see, a TFR isn’t a very Canadian thing. It’s not that we don’t know what fear and terrorism are — around 1970, bombs were going off in Montreal, and a provincial cabinet minister was kidnapped and murdered; even more recently, the Iranian embassy here in Ottawa was bombed; 24 of the 9/11 victims were Canadian; and the police in Toronto recently arrested a bunch of bozos who were talking big about doing terrorist stuff, though it’s unlikely they were smart or motivated enough to pull anything off. It’s just that, like the British with their IRA crisis, at least some of us have learned that heavy-handed security doesn’t actually solve problems; instead, it makes people more scared, and when people are scared, the world becomes more dangerous for everyone.
So we don’t shut down hundreds of square miles of airspace for our amusement parks, our Prime Minister, or even our Queen. In fact, our Prime Minister sometimes walks his kids to school. Before 9/11, you could essentially fly right past the windows of Parliament; now, you have to fly 1,000 ft AGL over Parliament, or 0.5 nm away, but you can still fly pretty close (and even those restrictions don’t apply if you’re landing or taking off IFR under ATC control).
‘Nuff said. Here’s the TFR for the president’s visit next week:
CYOW DESIGNATED AIRSPACE HANDBOOK IS AMENDED AS FOLLOWS: 1) CYR537, PARLIAMENT HILL ON, REVISED TO READ: CLASS F RESTRICTED AIRSPACE IS ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE AREA BOUNDED BY 12 NM RADIUS OF 452529N 754159W (PARLIAMENT HILL), SFC TO 12,500 FT MSL. NO PERSON SHALL OPR AN ACFT WITHIN THE AREA EXC FOR STATE ACFT, MIL, POLICE OPS, REGULARLY SKED COMMERCIAL PASSENGER AND CARGO CARRIERS, EMERG OR HUMANITARIAN FLT AUTH BY ATC. FOR AUTH ACFT OPR WITHIN CYR537, THE OPR RULES FOR EXISTING AIRSPACE APPLY. DLA MAY BE ANTICIPATED. 0902191600/0902192030. 2) CYR539, OTTAWA ON, CLASS F RESTRICTED AIRSPACE IS ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE AREA BOUNDED BY 10 NM RADIUS OF 451921N 754009W (OTTAWA/MACDONALD-CARTIER INTL), SFC TO 12,500 FT MSL. NO PERSON SHALL OPR AN ACFT WITHIN THE AREA DESCRIBED EXC FOR STATE ACFT, MIL, POLICE OPS, EMERG OR HUMANITARIAN FLT AUTH BY RCMP AT 1-888-420-7958. FOR AUTH ACFT OPR WITHIN CYR539, THE OPR RULES FOR EXISTING AIRSPACE APPLY. 0902191515/0902191545 AND 0902192210/0902192255. 3) CYR540, OTTAWA ON, CLASS F RESTRICTED AIRSPACE IS ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE AREA BOUNDED BY 30 NM RADIUS OF 451921N 754009W (OTTAWA/MACDONALD-CARTIER INTL) EXCLUDING CYR537 AND CYR539. SFC TO 12,500 FT MSL. NO PERSON SHALL OPR AN ACFT WITHIN THE AREA DESCRIBED EXC FOR STATE ACFT, MIL AND POLICE OPS, REGULARLY SKED COMMERCIAL PASSENGER, CARGO CARRIERS, EMERG OR HUMANITARIAN FLT. FOR MIL AND POLICE ACFT OPR WITHIN CYR540, THE OPR RULES FOR CLASS G AIRSPACE APPLY. FOR OTHER ACFT LISTED ABV, OPR WITHIN CYR540, THE RULES FOR EXISTING AIRSPACE APPLY. OPR PROC FOR ALL OTHER ACFT ENTERING, EXITING OR TRANSITING THROUGH CYR540 AUTH BY ATC SHALL: -PRIOR TO FLT PLANNING INTO CYR540, HAVE AN AUTH NUMBER OBTAINED FM THE RCMP 613-949-1737, 18 FEB 1300 TO 2100, OR 1-888-420-7958, 19 FEB 1200 TO 2300. THE REQUEST WILL INCLUDE THE NAMES AND BIRTHDAYS OF ALL PERSONS ONBOARD. -HAVE FLT PLAN WITH AUTH NUMBER IN THE REMARKS SECTION IN ORDER TO OBTAIN CLEARANCE TO OPR WITHIN CYR540. -BE ON AN ACTIVE IFR OR VFR FLT PLAN WITH A DISCRETE CODE ASSIGNED BY ATC 1-866-WXBRIEF AND SQUAWK THE DISCRETE CODE PRIOR TO DEP AND AT ALL TIMES WHILE OPR WITHIN CYR540. -REMAIN IN TWO-WAY RDO COM AT ALL TIMES WITH ATC. -ACFT DEP FM AN AD WITHIN CYR540, MUST ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, TWO WAY RDO COM WITH ATC. -PRIOR TO ENTERING CYR540, ACFT MUST ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN TWO WAY RDO COM WITH OTTAWA TML 127.7. -ACFT ARR OR DEP LOCAL AD WITHIN CYR540 AND AUTH ACFT TRANSITING THROUGH CYR540, REQUIRE AUTH FM OTTAWA TML FRQ 127.7. DLA MAY BE ANTICIPATED. 0902191500 TIL 0902192300
Basically, unless you’re security, an airline, or medevac, don’t fly within 30nm of the Ottawa Airport from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm next Thursday below 12,500 ft MSL, period. That’s actually harsher than the typical presidential TFR in the U.S.