Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR)

A TFR is a regulatory action issued by the FAA via the U.S. NOTAM System, under the authority of United States Code, Title 49. TFRs are issued within the sovereign airspace of the United States and its territories to restrict certain aircraft from operating within a defined area on a temporary basis to protect persons or property in the air or on the ground. While not all inclusive, TFRs may be issued for disaster or hazard situations such as: toxic gas leaks or spills, fumes from flammable agents, aircraft accident/incident sites, aviation or ground resources engaged in wildfire suppression, or aircraft relief activities following a disaster. TFRs may also be issued in support of VIP movements, for reasons of national security; or when determined necessary for the management of air traffic in the vicinity of aerial demonstrations or major sporting events. NAS users or other interested parties should contact a FSS for TFR information. Additionally, TFR information can be found in automated briefings, NOTAM publications, and on the internet at http://www.faa.gov. The FAA also distributes TFR information to aviation user groups for further dissemination. (PCG definition).

Restriction to flight imposed in order to:
  1. Protect persons and property in the air or on the surface from an existing or imminent flight associated hazard;
  2. Provide a safe environment for the operation of disaster relief aircraft;
  3. Prevent an unsafe congestion of sightseeing aircraft above an incident;
  4. Protect the President, Vice President, or other public figures; and,
  5. Provide a safe environment for space agency operations.

Pilots are expected to check appropriate NOTAMs during flight planning when conducting flight in an area where a temporary flight restriction is in effect.

(PHAK definition)

Source: Pilot Contoller Glossary (PCG)