LOS ANGELES – Skywriters and banner pullers say their businesses are going bust since the U.S. Congress passed legislation that designates far-reaching no-fly zones in the United States.
Citing security concerns, Congress passed legislation this year that forces the Federal Aviation Administration (search ) to restrict small planes from flying over popular sites like ballparks, stadiums and racetracks as well as the Disney theme parks in Florida and California.
Aerial advertisers who make their bread and butter over these sites are up in arms over the break given to the Disney World (search) and Disneyland (search ), who they say lobbied to be included in part to prevent advertising over their land.
"For Disneyland to use the terrorist threat of 9/11 as a tool to get their way is a despicable act," said Bob Dobry of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (search ).
The law restricts planes from flying over professional and major college sporting events as well as the Disney theme parks, putting them on a par with sensitive sites like submarine bases, weapons depots and nuclear power plants.
Some security experts say the ban provides a deterrent value.
"There are people who believe the government might take action purely for general public reassurance but not really adding to security," said Richard Bloom, a professor of terrorism and security studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (search ). "Contributing to the reassurance of the general public, I think, is a legitimate mode of action on the part of a government."
But Dobry and other pilots say the ban is hurting their businesses and is unfairly and ineffectively applied. For instance, the no-fly zone instituted during a National Football League game would not be applied during a Britney Spears concert at the same stadium.
Dobry said Disney also doesn't seem to mind that competitors like Sea World and Universal Studios were not included in the anti-terror legislation though they would face the same threat that a small plane filled with explosives would represent.
Some experts say the ban is a ruse because the area it covers is too small to provide real safety from a terrorist attack.
"The exclusion zone is simply too small to get an air defense fighter in place in time to do any good," said John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org.
While the word "Disney" was never mentioned in the original language of the bill, it was brought up in a letter from Congress to the FAA.
Disney, the letter read, was singled out for protection because its theme parks have the largest daily attendance and because it represents a symbolic target. It also was specifically identified by one of the Sept. 11 terrorist bombers as a potential site to attack.
Fox News' Jeff Nguyen contributed to this report.