On June 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $3.5 million in funding for airports in Florida and New Jersey that are being adversely affected by extended presidential TFRs. The money was included in the fiscal 2019 Transportation spending bill. Similar legislation was drafted by the House Appropriations Committee in early June.
Presidential TFRs have had significant impacts on airports since Donald Trump became president. An FBO operator at Palm Beach County Park Airport in Florida said weekend shutdowns can cause a loss of $30,000 in revenue, and up to $50,000 during holidays. The airports in the vicinity of President Trump’s most common TFRs in New Jersey and Florida have led to more than $1 million in net losses in 2017, AOPA reported.
“These funds will provide a real boost to the airports and businesses impacted in New Jersey and Florida,” said AOPA president Mark Baker.
The funding, which first surfaced in May, will be allocated to non-gateway airports and businesses that must close during the TFRs. Additionally, the House bill would require a study by the FAA for procedures that would allow certain approved GA pilots to fly during presidential TFRs.
The next steps in process for airports to receive the $3.5 million in aid will be for the two bills to be passed in the House and Senate, after which both bills will be reconciled. Once that is completed, they will head to President Trump for his signature.