SBA Joins Opposition To ADIZ

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The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy has joined with 21,459 others who have expressed opposition to the FAA's plans to impose a permanent ADIZ over the Washington, D.C., area. In comments filed last week, the Advocacy Office said it is concerned that the FAA has underestimated the cost and impact of the airspace restrictions on small aviation businesses within the affected area. Such businesses include small airports, aerial survey firms, flight schools, air charter operations and air tour operators. The FAA should revise its economic analysis, the SBA says, and should consider alternatives to a permanent ADIZ. The SBA even offered some alternatives. Less burdensome approaches could include separate requirements for lighter and slower airplanes, flight corridors in and around the area, and less-strict regulation as aircraft get farther from the capital, the SBA suggested. "The SBA's comments reinforce the fact that airspace restrictions like these aren't just a problem for pilots," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. "The effects extend well beyond the pilot community and create real hardships for business owners and their employees." An economic analysis commissioned by AOPA showed that the ADIZ was costing more than $43 million a year in lost wages and local spending and taxes, affecting 13 airports inside the ADIZ and 20 other nearby airports. EAA also welcomed the comments. "We are especially pleased that [the SBA] supported our view that the costs of the ADIZ to small businesses were significantly underestimated and viable alternatives to the proposed ADIZ, such as our proposal, should be explored." said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations.