There are a number of special rules that apply to Disney World, but some of those could be CHANGING.
We’ve shared a lot about the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and what that could mean for the future. But there’s another change that one U.S. congressional representative wants others to consider.
Airspace over Disney World is typically a no-fly zone. During the extended closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, one pilot did actually get the chance to fly over the area and shared some pretty incredible photos of the empty parks.
But what if Disney’s no-fly zone were to go away entirely? That’s what one member of the U.S. Congress is suggesting. Representative Troy Nehls, a Republican member of the House of Representatives for the state of Texas, has recently sent letters to end Disney’s no-fly zone status.
According to a press release posted to Congressman Nehls’ website, Nehls sent letters to the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, as well as the Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg on this matter.
In the press release, Nehls says that the letters “call out blatant favoritism towards The Walt Disney Company” and urge those in charge to “reconsider the appropriateness of Disney’s designated ‘no fly-zone’ over their resorts.”
In 2003, Congress passed a law that was later amended — together the law and amendment created “permanent ‘ temporary’ flight restrictions in the airspace over Disney’s resorts in Florida and California,” according to Nehls’ letter to Buttigieg.
Nehls said that the FAA’s flight restrictions “add complexity and restrict freedom — and they should be reserved for compelling national security and safety needs.”
The press release on Nehls’ website notes, “While most flight restricted areas in the United States reside over places of high security or hazardous regions, Disney is the only theme park that benefits from the restriction for the commercial gains of eliminating banner ads and disruptive aircrafts from their parks.” He specifically pointed out that competitors like Universal Studios don’t have this same restriction.
In the letter to Buttigieg, Nehls says that “special interests” have “hijacked” the mandate of the Federal Aviation Administration in the “sheep’s clothing of national security, for commercial gain.”
Nehls says that the Federal Aviation Administration’s official “Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) references ‘Special Security Reasons’ as a justification for the restrictions, but safety regulators at FAA have questioned the need for these restrictions.” Nehls notes that in 2013, the FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, “testified that Disney’s ‘no-fly-zones’ do not meet standard requirements and would not be in place had Congress not enacted special legislation.”
Nehls then goes on to discuss others that have questioned the no-fly-zones, specifically discussing reports from the Orlando Sentinel. According to Nehls, a 2003 article from the Orlando Sentinel shared that the decision “angered pilots across the country who accuse Disney of manipulating the nation’s terrorism fear for one clear commercial aim: to close public airspace over its parks as a way to ban competitors’ aerial advertising planes and sightseeing helicopters.”
Nehls also says that in 2003, a Disney spokesperson said that the no-fly-zone would “promote the ‘enjoyment’ of their guests by eliminating ‘banner ads from trial lawyers’ and aircraft ‘buzzing the parks.\’”
Nehls goes on to say, “Measures designed for protecting our national security and public safety must not be co-opted by companies looking to gain.” He notes that he is “inquiring as to whether the Biden administration supports the continued preferential treatment of Disney Resorts,” given that it has been nearly 20 years since the passage of the law granting the no-fly-zone and the “long-standing controversy around their creation.”
On his website, Nehls shares that he is asking that the “House reconsider their appropriateness.”
According to Fox Business, Nehls told Fox News Digital “Major corporations should not get unreasonable privileges just because they have the ability to bankroll Congress, especially when they are trying to force their ideology on our children.”
This is a developing situation. We’ll keep an eye out for more updates on this situation and let you know what we find.
Click here to read about the bill a U.S. senator has said he’ll introduce to end Disney’s “special copyright protections”
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The post NEWS: U.S. Congressman Calls for the End of Disney’s No-Fly Zones first appeared on the disney food blog.