After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued flight restrictions to prevent flights over certain areas, to include stadiums, in response to increased concerns about the threat posed by terrorists using aircraft as a weapon. Beginning in December 2001, FAA's Air Traffic Division Director of Air Traffic Services, and later the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), implemented processes to allow certain pilots and aircraft to operate over these events by waiving flight restrictions. However, in February 2003, Congress passed legislation that for 1 year prevented aerial advertising pilots from flying near stadium airspace during certain sporting events by suspending the waiver process. In January 2004, Congress passed legislation continuing this restriction indefinitely. In the event that the restriction on waivers for aerial advertising near stadiums is repealed, the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Homeland Security, asked that we (1) describe the results of FAA and TSA threat assessments conducted relevant to aerial advertising operations and (2) identify FAA's and TSA's processes for mitigating the identified threat, determine whether established processes were followed, and identify factors that may limit their effectiveness.
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