There are a group of Republican members of Congress looking to end the no-fly zones over Disney Parks. The no-fly zones were instituted in 2003 after the attacks of 9/11.
The two no-fly zones were applied to the Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The Federal Aviation Administration restrictions say that no aircraft could come within 3,000 feet of the resorts or within a radius of 3 miles. The center of this radius in California is the Anaheim Convention Center and encompasses all of the Disneyland Resort. In Florida, the center of the 3-mile radius is at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and covers all of the Magic Kingdom and most of EPCOT. It does not cover Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney Springs.
On May 5, Representative Troy Nehls of Texas reintroduced legislation that would end the no-fly zones. “I’m proud to reintroduce my bill, the Airlines Independent of Restrictions (AIR) Act, in the 118th Congress to revoke Disney’s special no-fly zone privileges,” said Congressman Nehls. “Theme parks like Disney should not receive special treatment just because they are well-connected. Our national security should not be compromised to fit the needs of one corporation.” Nehls said in a prepared statement. The legislation was cosponsored by Reps. Lauren Boebert, Andy Biggs, Andrew Clyde, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Doug LaMalfa, Scott Perry, and Greg Steube.
“Woke corporations shouldn’t get any favors from the government,” said Congresswoman Boebert. “The FAA has no business granting a no-fly-zone over Disney parks. Universal Studios, Hershey Park, Six Flags, and other theme parks don’t have no-fly-zones over them, and it’s time for Disney to get the same treatment. No corporation should get preferential treatment from the government—especially when it is grooming children. Go woke, go broke.”
“Congress delegated ‘no fly zone’ authority to the FAA for high security institutions such as the White House, military bases, or hazards like wildfires and hurricanes,” said Congressman LaMalfa. “Preferential treatment of one corporation over competitors is not a legitimate use of a no fly zone and it’s time to disband this unfair practice.”
Nehls first introduced the legislation in 2022, shortly after The Walt Disney Company came out against a “Don’t Say Gay” bill in the state of Florida. This opposition set off a series of events in the state of Florida, as well as Governor DeSantis, led efforts to rescind the special status of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Eventually, this was replaced with a new Central Florida Tourism Oversight District with a board appointed by Governor DeSantis.
As the board and Governor have sought to assert control on the District and Disney, they have also sought to nullify a development agreement made prior to the takeover. This has led to Disney sueing Governor DeSantis, the board and other Florida leaders. The board, in turn, also mounted a countersuit. At the state level, the legislature has also been pushing through bills to enable the board for the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District to nullify the agreement and also to give the state more oversight over the Walt Disney World monorail system. Things have continued to heat up as Disney has continued to ammend its lawsuit as DeSantis has made more public statements. On Wednesday Disney CEO Bob Iger also spoke out on the issue calling it “a matter of retaliation.”
For this bill to become law, it would first have to pass through the House of Representatives, then Senate, and then be signed by President Biden. Disney has not released a statement on this effort by congressional Republicans.