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TFR Procedures

Asked by: 2478 views Airspace, FAA Regulations

Listed below are TFR scenarios and questions:

·        Scenario A – (stadium or any sporting event seating 30,000 or more people) TFR (9/5151).

My understanding and experience is: FSS briefers revert that the controlling agency of the airspace of TFR (9/5151) should have this information and that pilots should contact the controlling agency for rules and regulations because FSS briefers do not have access to this type of TFR.

**University Park Airport (KUNV) is an example of an airport within the 3NM area of this type of TFR. This airport is within 3NM of Penn State’s football stadium that has a seating capacity of more than 30,000 people.

Scenario A questions:

1.      Do FSS briefers have access to stadium (or any sporting event seating 30,000 or more people) TFR (9/5151) mandates?

2.      If this account is correct regarding scenario A, who do pilots contact at the controlling agency?

3.      What/who exactly is the controlling agency (ATC control tower, TRACON, ARTCC, etc…)?

4.      If FSS or controlling agency is not supplied with this information, which federal agency does have access to this information of which pilots can contact so that all available information is obtained before a flight is conducted as part of the briefing?

5.      If an airport is within the stadium TFR (9/5151)which VFR and IFR flights are prohibited from departing and arriving when this specific TFR is activated?

6.      ­­If an airport is within the stadium TFR (9/5151)which VFR and IFR flights are not prohibited  from departing and arriving when this specific TFR is activated?

7.      If departures and arrivals are allowed within stadium TFR 9/5151, will ATC provide vectors for both IFR and VFR traffic to keep the flight path from flying directly over the venue of the sporting event or is this the responsibility of pilots?

·        Scenario B-Upon an airman inquiring about TFR airspace during a FSS briefing shortly before departure (30 minutes or less for example), the FSS briefer states that no TFR airspace of any type will be encountered during a specific route of flight (including a route of flight to an alternate airport). After departure and now flying in accordance to the specific route discussed with the FSS briefer, assume a pilot penetrates a TFR. Note that the FSS briefer stated no TFR airspace of any type during briefing.

Scenario B questions:

1.      Which controlling agency or federal agency assumes responsibility to inform pilots that a TFR of any type is active at a point along the route of flight discussed during the initial briefing?


2.       Assume the pilot (in Scenario B) again contacts FSS while enroute that includes a query about TFR airspace and the FSS briefer again states that no TFR airspace  of any type will be encountered during the specified route of flight. Despite the diligent efforts of the pilot to obtain TFR information from FSS while enroute and during the briefing,  assume TFR airspace is penetrated. Who is accountable/responsible (FSS or controlling agency) having this TFR information? Who should pilots contact enroute for TFR status?


2B. If the correct answer to #2 above (Scenario B questions) is the controlling agency, is the controlling agency accountable/responsible for vectoring pilots so that the TFR is not penetrated?


Scenario C- Assume the FAA issues a spur of the moment “pop up” TFR.  A pilot is already airborne and is not aware of the newly implemented TFR airspace because at the time of the FSS briefing the briefer stated no TFR airspace along the propose route of flight (including alternate airports if IFR).  Assume this newly implemented (“pop up” TFR) is along the pilot’s route of flight.

Scenario C questions:

1.      If  a “pop up” TFR airspace is implemented by the FAA, who is responsible for communicating to pilots already airborne about this newly implemented ( “pop up”) TFR airspace?

2.      Would VFR flights receiving flight following receive vectors by ATC around the TFR airspace?


3.      Would IFR flights receive vectors by ATC around the TFR airspace?

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1 Answers

  1. Brent on Jul 25, 2013

    I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t answer these very detailed questions, but I would suggest you get in touch with the tower controllers at UNV and ask them some of these questions.

    Practically speaking, I’ve experienced a similar situation at Athens, Georgia (KAHN) a towered airport within 3 NM to the east of the University of Georgia’s football stadium. My experience flying here while conducting some IFR practice on game day is that controllers will refuse to issue instrument approaches for runway 9 (final passes directly over the stadium), but missed approaches on runway 27 were still permitted. The controllers would issue missed approach instructions that included 90 degree turns north or south, and they strongly encouraged these to be begun as soon as possible.

    I can’t remember if I heard this from a controller or another pilot, but AHN tower is only capable of authorizing you into the part of the TFR that is also part of their Class D airspace. In other words, they couldn’t issue a clearance to enter the TFR from the west, beyond the lateral limits of the Class D.

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