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No-fly zones over Disney parks face new scrutiny

The Disney restrictions have been in place since 2003, thanks to a provision quietly slipped into a massive congressional spending bill weeks before the Iraq war. Defense and counter-terrorism officials did not appear to ask for the Disney protections, which were instead urged by at least one Disney lobbyist, according to an Orlando Sentinel investigation in 2003. ( Plus d'info...

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Jeff Lawson 16
National Parks have the general limitation of "Pilots are *requested* to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of the following: National Parks, Monuments, Seashores, Lakeshores, Recreation Areas, etc..."

Note "requested" not "required"... I think the same wording should be used around sports stadiums, Disney parks, theme parks, and event venues. There's no need to scramble NORAD or jet fighters for every incursion.
Chuck Me 8
Seems like a rational solution.

So there's no way it will actually happen.
Taterhed 1
Seems rational to me as well. BTW, you'll probably find that NORAD fighters are NOT scrambled for every violation of a TFR.
This likely boils down to money and power. Disney is the main draw to that area of Florida and doesn't want advertisers for other theme parks/attractions flying banners over their parks to draw people/money away from their parks, and they have the clout to get this sort of legislation passed using under the guise of 'public safety'. Similar situation in Atlantic City, NJ - it is illegal to smoke in any indoor public place in NJ, except in the casinos - why? likely because Donald Trump didn't want people getting up from the poker table to go outside and smoke, only to wander down the boardwalk to another casino while smoking.
Also, Disney isn't just a powerful company; Disneyworld actually has municipal status. They have every municipal dept just like every other city.
Ron Burgundy 5
This is beyond ridiculous. On a side note, I also remember seeing the ad planes above the Orange Bowl as a child. It wasn't just advertisements, either. Many times, fans would hire a plane to make jabs at players and coaches of visiting teams. It was all fun and games.
I am so sick and tired of hearing stories like this. Tens of thousands die on the roads each year. An advertising plane no "national security issue." Or whatever these people like to call it...
Charles Ramsey 2
Just let the Russians know this and they will be flying square over it.
Kurt Anderson 1
And Washington will let them do whatever they want to.
Eminitrader 2
VFR or IFR - Orlando App takes you over it ALL the time... I've never once been vectored around it... and that's below 3000 leaving/departing KISM -
David Barnes 2
From the TFR:


Approach would be considered "operational" and you're authorized by ATC. As many have stated before, it's to eliminate the "looky-loos" and the advertisement flying.
Eminitrader 0
I realize that. But thanks for posting.
Silent Bob 4
A federal judge threw out the Family Policy Network's arguments, writing that combating terrorism required "unquestioning adherence" to Congress' action.

Paging George Orwell!
Joao Ponces 0
Unfortunately, MOST of this measures to fight terrorist are in fact just and only promoting it!
Is it not time for Governments to learn something? Use their heads, for instances?
David Barnes 0
Citation, please?
Jeremy Kudlick 0
The first line is a quote from the article, just without the quotation marks.
David Barnes 0
Thanks. I'd be interested in seeing the actual order from the judge with that language.
Jeremy Kudlick 0
I can't seem to find the decision. Perhaps, like many others, it was labeled "Do Not Publish" despite the widespread public attention to the case.
Randy Brown 3
Most TFRs do little in reality to enhance security. If there was a a real attack all the F16s could do is watch the fires burn. Keeping law abiding citizens away with these draconian measures is all that gets accomplished.
Only useful TFRS are for fighting fires. Looks loos interfering with slurry bombers IS a safety issue.
Most TFRS serve only to make sheeple feel better by doing the ethereal "something", purely a feel good measure for the ignorant.
Taterhed 1
have you ever seen the chaos over a law enforcment scene--especially in the LA basin? I respectfully disagree. LE TFR's are an absolute necessity to protect LEOS and the poor pitiful citizens who are unfortunate enough to be near the scene of a major crime/accident/incident.
Ben Thurston 1
Sounds like you need to look up the definition of "draconian".
David Ratte 2
This all came about as an end-run way to stop Rosy O Grady's Flying Circus from towing banners over the Orlando Disney park many years ago.
Dustin Schultz 2
I am a little confused by this TFR. I was born and raised in Orlando and I have flown around the Orlando area many times. This TFR does not apply to any aircraft that is authorized and in contact with ATC. Basically, you just need to have a discrete squawk code, VFR or IFR, and maintain radio contact with Orlando Approach to fly over Disney (which I have done many times). What I am confused with is if Orlando TRACON has to make the decision on policing this area? It is very clear what Disney's intent was with regards to banner planes.

This is the actual TFR from the FAA website....

ken young 1
If I'm a pilot dodging a thunderstorm and it's me or Mickey Mouse, guess what? I will answer to a higher authority...
Ken Strite 1
As an annual passholder at Walt Disney World, I know that you cannot visit the parks without tourist helicopters flying over the park at under 1000 ft every few minutes. I assume that Disney charges them a fee to allow them to make these flights. It makes the no fly zone quite the joke.
Ben Thurston 1
Disney can't charge a fee for this, because the FAA controls this airspace, not Disney. As others have said, all you need is contact with and authorization by ATC to fly within the TFR.
Special TFR treatment for Disney most likely required handing out lots of free tickets to the Magic Kingdom. Is Orlando Class C airspace?
Ben Thurston 1
Disney World is under the Orlando International (MCO) Class B, so it's Class E.
I wasn't just the Banner planes, I was more towards the ENG news helicopters when they filmed the dead animals in animal kingdom here in Florida
Joao Ponces 1
I was a great admirer of Walt Disney! I am sure he is turning and turning in his grave to see what had become of his Company! Perhaps quite the opposite of his great initial intentions!
I think it is time for the Public to realise that!
WhiteKnight77 1
Many years ago, while stationed in SoCal, I was aircrew who flew in Phrogs around the area for a training squadron. Often, we would shoot GCAs into Los Alamitos AAF. The the pattern took us right over Disneyland. It was really cool at night in the summer, especially when they had fireworks. It was really cool to see a fireworks show from 3000' or so (can't remember what altitude we flew at, it has been years now) with the park in the background. Shame that no one else can view that now.
Paul De Zan 1
Mike Savage 1
My pet peeve about TFRs is that they are AGL not MSL. For DisneyLand we are to stay at least 3,000 feet above the Matterhorn. The problem is that I don't know what the Matterhorn's elevation is in the first place so I can't tell if I'm at the safe distance. Just post the TFR as MSL and then we can look at our altimeter and make some use of it. Duh...

Mike Savage
Taterhed 1
First of all, anyone who thinks that 'F-16's' are being scrambled to defend WDW is not well informed.
Second, there are many public gatherings in the US that are currently protected from persistent low over-flight by TFR's. While I respect and defend the rights of American citizens to fairly use the NAS, allowing any yokel (or worse) to orbit over large gatherings of people is foolish--IMHO.

Finally, if you research the pubic gathering TFR's you'll find that the policy is enforced as suggested below--avoid. Most pilots are 'warned' to avoid/exit the airspace.

Popular American icons/landmarks (such as WDW, football, NASCAR etc...)are obvious targets for those who would advance their cause at the expense of others.

Not asking you to give up your freedoms, just asking you to think before spouting opinions aired as fact.

Just my 2c. Everyone is entitled to an opinion--and a vote.
John Mohan 1
Robert, you wrote that "Popular American icons/landmarks (such as WDW, football, NASCAR etc...)are obvious targets for those who would advance their cause at the expense of others."

That is true, but what makes you think having a TFR of three mile radius (a distance that can be covered in a minute or less by many GA planes) has any effect on thwarting a determined terrorist with a plane?
Taterhed 1
Well, I believe the official answer is 'layers of security.' My very unofficial answer is:1) reducing the amount of traffic over the crowds reduces the chances of a 'friendly' incident and 2) haveing protected airspace in place, by default, allows immediate enforcment when needed. It's a deterent. I won't and can't argue your 1-minute logic--Why call 911 if they're 10 mins away? etc...

People commit murder ever day. We can't stop it. So why don't we abolish the laws against murder?

I think you'll find that most aviators are not severly inconvienienced by the laws that prohibit flying large gatherings of people. Ditto for WDW. Banner towing and skywriting? Well, I'm sure that there are many arguments for and against.

For the an old and less active aviator, I'm NOT in favor of more and more restrictions. I am in favor of programs that reduce the risk of public harm--especially those that don't unduly restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. An example? Airshow flight path and crowd-offset plans. They make sense.

Again, just my opinion.

Perhaps you advocate we put Patriot batteries around amusement parks? :> JK.
John Mohan 1
Yes, Patriot batteries around amusement parts - aimed inward. :-)
Ben Thurston 1
Agree completely. This is comparable to "Stadium TFRs" enforced at major public gatherings such as football games, and no one seems to be getting up in arms about these. I've flown hundreds of hours in SoCal airspace and have never been inconvenienced by the Disneyland TFR.

Some folks have an exaggerated view of what "liberty" means. Liberty always comes with some restrictions; the relevant question is whether the restrictions to particular liberties are reasonable. With over 3 million square miles of airspace in the contiguous states, in my view restricting a few square miles to enhance safety and enjoyment of the tens of thousands who visit Disneyland or Disney World every day is a reasonable restriction of our liberty to fly where we wish.
Todd Sullivan 1
I think we also need to expand the no-fly zones to cover hospitals. Needs to be quiet for the patients to recover. And malls. Lots of people and money there. Also over public parks, since they have baseball, soccer, football, tennis, swimming, and other such public gatherings. Churches should be similarly protected, as should all beaches. Imagine the risks to all the unprotected sunbathers. Interstate highways need protection. Fairgrounds, pavillions, YMCA buildings, all cities with large populations (greater than 1000). These are the problems. It is not that Disney doesn't "deserve, need, or merit" such a policy, it is that everyone else really does just as much as they do, and once they have enough money/power/clout/lobbying to get their way, then there is nowhere left to fly. Oh yeah, then we need to start restricting public waterways as well. Boats can carry pretty heavy loads.
Mark Fleming -1
I don't think it has much to do with a security threat. I think it has more to do with Disney wanting the guest to enjoy their vacation without the outside distractions. That is one thing they always mention, "When you come to Disney you leave the outside world behind". Can you imagine having a plane flying over the parks all day making noise, everyone knows how noisy these planes are, and displaying all types of ads in the sky? I don't won't to hear the noise and I don't won't to see ads during my vacation. It is bad enough when I'm at Epcot and the "tourist" helicopters fly close by. I hope they keep the no fly zones. Sorry if you don't agree.
AWAAlum 1
Then don't look up.
Randy Brown 1
Another one of the big government favorites. The Sheeple, willing to give up liberty for convenience.
Wrong way to address the issue. Allowing a business to "buy" your rights makes it even worse.
Dale Brown -1
With he money that Disney brings into Central Florida the people in the area shouldn't care. With what you pay for the Disney Experience which I personally think is worth every penny is definitely enhanced by not having planes and helicopters buzzing over all the time like the rest of Orlando. And yes it would be a perfect terrorists site for a strike, lots of people year round and a very soft target. I'm fine with it. If the other parks want it, fine. I think it is warranted along with big sports venues also.
I live here and I am a pre Disney 7th gen Cracker. Wish the would pack their stuff and leave.
Randy Brown 0
This is not a Security issue.
It is a convenience issue.
We the Sheeple are way to willing to give up liberty for any reason
Chris Goode 0
I think this is a slippery slope that needs to be stopped as soon as possible. Pretty soon we are not going to be able to fly anywhere. Think of the precedent set by Disney and keeping people safe. That means that everyone who has a public venue could now request a TFR. I believe this leads down the road of killing general aviation. I love being able to hop in a plane and just fly without worrying about being in contact with ATC or being told where to fly. A privilege we are losing very fast.
Peter Ertman 1
Slippery slope since 2003? WOW.....

Also, you must only fly in classes E and G airspace. Legally those are the only ones you can fly in "without worrying about being in contact with ATC".
Cappy Swope 2
Disney parks are currently both the most expensive and most irritating places on earth. Towing ad banners over them won't make matters better or worse.
Randy Brown -1
It is not just aviation it is every where.
The foolish sheeple give up liberty at every turn.
Ben Thurston 2
Calling folks who don't share your sense of outrage "foolish sheeple" probably isn't the best way to advance your argument.
AWAAlum 3
It's his favorite word. He's used it in every single one of his posts here. He must think it's clever
Kenneth Martin 0
Another reason this came about was the media response to an incident in Disneyland involving the attraction Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The attraction derailed in one of the tunnels setting off a media fire storm to be the first to get the story.
Same here in Florida with the dead animals in the kingdom.The restrictions were placed shortly there after.

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