Stadium TFR during Covid
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Do you think the FAA could be persuaded to relax the stadium TFR during games with no fans?
9 Replies
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FAA recently addressed the sport/stadium TFR issue in their Aeronautical Information Optimization Summit on Thursday, August 20th. In short, the TFR is, and has always been, based on stadium or venue capacity, not the actual number of fans in attendance. See around the 10-minute mark - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b2aM2vAsHg&list=PL5vHkqHi51DQhYrrmWJ6QZDJHLj7ASEBf
 
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I called SOSC earlier and got the same answer, and so in fact suggested they speak with LGA since they were clearly working off a different assumption! I also called the LGA tower cab, and the lady there confirmed that as far as they were concerned, there was no TFR since “there are no people”. I told her SOSC has a different view and that they might want to coordinate. She said she’d pass it on to the supervisor when he came in. Re clearances, both today on the phone and last night on the radio, LGA clearly and unambiguously said “there is no TFR”, not that there is a TFR but we can clear you through it. I’m not saying that’s controlling, but it’s pretty clearly what they believed. Oh, and I filed a NASA form just in case...
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1012 Posts
Just called the SOSC.  The TFR remains in effect because the Public Law which requires it (and says nothing about games with no spectators) has not been changed.  They're going to speak with LGA tower.  Of course, per Section II of the NOTAM, LGA Tower has always had, and still has, the authority to clear flights through the TFR.  Perhaps that's what they were trying to tell you.  Here's the link to the NOTAM:

https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_0_0367.html

If you want this changed, you'll have to start by contacting your Congressional representatives.  And I wouldn't expect AOPA to spend their scarce political resources on this issue -- too many much bigger fish to fry.
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1012 Posts
From the NOTAM:

G.THE SYSTEM OPERATIONS SUPPORT CENTER (SOSC) IS THE POINT OF CONTACT AND COORDINATION FACILITY FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS NOTAM AND ARE AVAILABLE DAILY FROM 0700-2300 EASTERN, PHONE 202-267-8276. 2001150001-PERM 
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Well, if it were just some random controller, I would agree with you. But given that LGA tower controls that airspace, I think their word and the fact that they were clearing people up and down the skyline route all evening are pretty good indications. If you maintain that this isn't sufficient, to whom should one go for verification?
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1012 Posts
Per the FAA's NOTAM site, the so-called stadium NOTAM (FDC 0/0367) remains in effect.  I wouldn't trust what one controller says on this without verification.