D.C. Restrictions Extended For Two Years

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Three Washington, D.C., area airports got news they expected, but didn't necessarily want to hear, Tuesday from the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA will extend Special Federal Airspace Regulation 94 until February 2005. The regulation, which has banned most GA operations in the Washington area and severely curtailed operations at College Park, Washington Executive/Hyde Park and Potomac Airports, has been in effect since Sept. 11, 2001.  A spokeswoman at College Park, who asked not to be identified, confirmed airport management was notified of the extension late Tuesday. Initially, the airports were closed, but about six months after the terrorist attacks the TSA allowed pilots based at those airports to take off and land after they had undergone rigorous security checks. A few months after that, those vetted pilots were allowed to fly into and out of any of the three airports. But the airports remain closed to everyone else, although AOPA is trying to convince authorities to allow transient traffic to return. "We've not given up on these airports," said AOPA spokesman Warren Morningstar. "But it's going to continue to be one hell of a fight." Morningstar said the airports cannot survive financially on the small amount of in-house traffic they generate.