In a recent change to its Compliance and Enforcement Program, the FAA has lowered the minimum sanction for inadvertent TFR incursions from a 30-day suspension to remedial training. Pilots who inadvertently enter temporary flight restricted airspace may avail themselves of the lower minimum sanction under the following circumstances:
1. Inadvertent, first-time violations resulting from aircraft intruding one mile or less into the security airspace and then turning and exiting directly when there are no resulting complications for air traffic control or other aircraft; or
2. Inadvertent, first time violations resulting from aircraft briefly (two minutes or less) squawking a 1200 code or failing to squawk an assigned discrete code, in security airspace that requires the aircraft to squawk a discrete code when there are no resulting complications for air traffic control or other aircraft.
All other situations will continue to incur progressive enforcement sanctions starting with a 30-day suspension of all pilot certificates. FAA enforcement actions often involve complex issues, including an airman’s particular facts and the governing law and regulations. When faced with any investigation or legal action, pilots should consult with experienced aviation counsel to determine their rights and obligations before speaking with authorities.