House Set To Discuss GA At DCA...

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Two Committees Prepare Bills

The political momentum behind a bid to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to charter and GA traffic appears to be unstoppable and the biggest question now seems to be when, not if, those operations will be allowed to resume. And since Washington will almost certainly remain under an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) for the foreseeable future, just how the security apparatus that tries (with varying degrees of success) to control access to the ADIZ will cope with the influx of non-scheduled flights is also a big question mark. For now, however, the focus is on cracking the political barriers. On April 6, a bill was put before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee calling for resumption of GA flights to DCA within 180 days of passage. It made it through committee with only one significant change: the 180-day term was cut to 60 days. The proposed bill was endorsed by the committee on April 27 and will go to the full house sometime in May. Meanwhile, the Homeland Security Committee, which is debating a reauthorization bill for the Department of Homeland Security, included a provision to reopen DCA to GA. It stuck with the 180-day timeline.