Washington Flight Rules Eased

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As AVweb reported last week, the reduction in security alert status from orange to yellow is making life a little easier for GA in the Washington, D.C., area. The air defense identification zone (ADIZ) remains in effect within a 30-mile radius of the capital. But a week of negotiations between the FAA and various security agencies has resulted in a new amended NOTAM containing some practical relaxations of the rules within the ADIZ. Also the FAA has restored post-9/11-normal operations to the so-called DC-3 airports. The orange-status requirement to file a flight plan from any airport within the ADIZ has been lifted but all traffic must maintain radio contact with air traffic control and squawk a discrete transponder code. Departing aircraft must establish contact, either by phone or radio, with the Potomac TRACON and get the code before taking off. The DC-3 -- College Park, Washington Executive/Hyde Field and Potomac Airfield -- revert to the restrictions in place before the orange alert. The based pilots who are allowed to use those fields no longer have to submit to a TSA inspection before takeoff, nor do they have to land at a gateway airport on the way back to be inspected.