Rep. Nehls Calls Out Disney’s No-Fly Zone Special Treatment

Monday, I sent letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg calling out blatant favoritism towards The Walt Disney Company and urging them to reconsider the appropriateness of Disney’s designated “no fly-zone” over their resorts. 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.

[The Federal Aviation Administration’s] flight restrictions add complexity and restrict freedom—they should be reserved for compelling national security and safety needs…unfortunately, special interests may have hijacked the agency’s mandate, in the sheep’s clothing of national security, for commercial gain.

In 2003, Congress passed Section 352 of Public Law 108-7, which was later amended by Section 521 of Public Law 108-199. These acts created “temporary” flight restrictions in the airspace over Disney’s resorts in Florida and California. In the letter, I pointed out that unlike their competitors, like Universal or Six Flags, Disney Parks are the only theme parks that benefit from the restriction. 

Measures designed for protecting our national security and public safety must not be co-opted by companies looking to gain. Given that almost 20 years have passed since the designation of these “temporary” flight restrictions and the long-standing controversy around their creation, I ask that the House reconsider their appropriateness.

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