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Consider a situation where there is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) due to VIP movement (i.e. the President of the United States is in Los Angeles), and I am based at an airport that is within the TFR. I'm a VFR pilot and I want to go for a little flight from my airfield that doesn't have a control tower, exit the TFR, and then return later in the afternoon (re-entering the TFR) and land at the same airport.

What would be the procedure to get permission to:

  1. Take off and exit the TFR-covered area (non-towered airport), and
  2. Return to the same field later on a different flight (same non-towered airfield)?
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    $\begingroup$ All the VIP TFRs I've seen have been very clear on the requirements, typically stating something like "Must be on a filed flight plan, under ATC direction". I'd say, just read the TFR closely, and follow those instructions to the letter. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Aug 8 '14 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ Also make sure you call FSS and discuss the TFR as it pertains to your flight. $\endgroup$ – casey Aug 8 '14 at 18:35
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    $\begingroup$ "temporary TFR" = temporary temporary flight restriction $\endgroup$ – Steve Kuo Aug 9 '14 at 5:00
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Usually when the President visits LA or San Francisco there are one or more inner rings and at least one outer ring. The inner rings are usually 10 nm in diameter and you can’t enter them under any conditions. The outer rings, on the other hand, are able to be flown into if you are on a VFR or IFR flight plan and in continuous contact with ATC. Here’s a portion of the TFR at Martha’s Vinyard.

FOR OPERATIONS WITHIN THE AIRSPACE BETWEEN THE 10 NMR AND 30 NMR AREA(S) LISTED ABOVE, KNOWN AS THE OUTER RING(S): ALL AIRCRAFT OPERATING WITHIN THE OUTER RING(S) LISTED ABOVE ARE LIMITED TO AIRCRAFT ARRIVING OR DEPARTING LOCAL AIRFIELDS, AND WORKLOAD PERMITTING, ATC MAY AUTHORIZE TRANSIT OPERATIONS. AIRCRAFT MAY NOT LOITER. ALL AIRCRAFT MUST BE ON AN ACTIVE IFR OR VFR FLIGHT PLAN WITH A DISCRETE CODE ASSIGNED BY AN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (ATC) FACILITY. AIRCRAFT MUST BE SQUAWKING THE DISCRETE CODE PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AND AT ALL TIMES WHILE IN THE TFR AND MUST REMAIN IN TWO-WAY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ATC.

If you are departing or landing at an non-towered field, you need two radios (or an Garmin SL30 radio) to monitor ATC and communicate on the CTAF.

I have done it lots of times VFR into LA and it really isn’t much different than getting flight following.

I don’t have any experience with departing from a non-towered airport into the TFR, since the last time I entered the TFR the approach end of the runway at Catalina Island was in the 30 mile ring, but the departure end was not. So I don’t know for sure but from talking to the people at the FBO and reading the TFR, I think you need to open you flight plan either by phone or on the radio (Hawthorne radio would be who you call and the frequency depends on where you are in the LA basin), contact ATC (in this case LA Center, again frequency varies) on the ground before you take off, then make your normal calls on the CTAF. Then contact ATC again when you are airborne.

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It depends on the TFR, sometimes simply communicating with the ATC that controls that area will be sufficient, other times you might need to have a flight plan and a clearance, other times you simply might not be able to do it.

The NOTAM for the specific TFR that you wish to fly through should have the information you need. You can also call Flight Service and they can help you accomplish what needs to be done.

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