A Bit Of Relief For DC ADIZ Fliers

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The FAA's tight grip on the huge chunk of airspace that is the Baltimore-Washington Air Defense Identification Zone is beginning to loosen, if only slightly. AOPA said this week that after more than six months of negotiating, the TSA and FAA and a long list of D.C. security officials have agreed to a 60-day test that will ease restrictions on operations at about a dozen GA airports near the rim of the ADIZ. "AOPA still believes that the ADIZ has outlived its intent and would prefer to see it lifted entirely," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But until that happens, this should make operations at the edges of the ADIZ a little less complicated." The test begins Nov. 1 and establishes ingress-egress procedures that in some cases eliminate the need to file an ADIZ flight plan and/or require fewer ATC communications. Any deviation by pilots from established procedures will trigger a military response, says AOPA. "This is a very small step forward, but it's one of the first real breaks general aviation has gotten in the ADIZ area," said Boyer. "It's crucial that pilots follow the rules exactly so we can prove to doubting security officials that GA pilots are trustworthy." Meanwhile, EAA said last week that so far only six aircraft owners who are grounded because they do not have two-way communication and/or transponder capabilities have come forward to request that the TSA allow them to relocate their aircraft based within the ADIZ. EAA said it is concerned that there may be additional aircraft and ultralight vehicles grounded inside the ADIZ, and their owners have not yet asked about relocation assistance. Owners are encouraged to contact EAA for help in developing an egress plan with TSA.