Amid Uproar, ‘Trump TFR’ Over New York City Shrinks

The radius of a flight restricted area ringing Trump Tower in Manhattan has been greatly reduced, reopening the Hudson River VFR Corridor.

Trump Tower TFR
The TFR encircling Trump Tower in Manhattan.FAA

Almost from the moment it was clear that Donald Trump would be the 45th president of the United States, the FAA, in cooperation with the Secret Service, put into place a temporary flight restriction around Trump Tower, where the president-elect will live before moving into the White House in January.

The trouble was the TFR, scheduled to stay in place until January 21, the day after Inauguration Day, completely closed off the popular Hudson River VFR Corridor. Pilots were incensed. AOPA stepped in to broker a compromise, but it only fueled more anger after the Trump TFR was amended to leave a small sliver of a cutout on the far west side of the Hudson River to allow VFR traffic to pass.

Immediately pilots began raising safety concerns, saying the narrow passageway was an invitation to a midair collision.

Nearly as quickly as that uproar materialized it subsided as the FAA dramatically scaled back the radius of the TFR to reopen the Hudson River Corridor, leaving the TFR in place essentially only over the island of Manhattan.

There is speculation that the Trump TFR will be extended in duration long beyond the inauguration because Trump is expected to spend a lot of his time during his presidency at his New York penthouse. Even if the TFR remains in force for the next four years, pilots will have little reason to grouse now that the restricted area — mere security “theater” with no real safety benefit — has been dramatically scaled back.