The FAA has made the Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) around Washington, D.C. permanent (and called it a Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA)), but AOPA says it will keep fighting to get rid of it. "While this is a final rule," Andy Cebula, AOPA's executive vice president of government affairs said in a news release.
"Circumstances and conditions evolve, and rules can be changed." While AOPA is working on that, the government seems pretty stuck on keeping the 15 and 30-nm bubbles around DC (flying shoes notwithstanding) and says it's in everyone's best interests. "This rule will help air traffic controllers and security agencies monitor air traffic by identifying, distinguishing and responding appropriately if an aircraft deviates from its expected flight path or is not complying with instructions from controllers," the agency says in a news release AOPA maintains the ADIZ/SFRA is unnecessary, costs millions of dollars a year in hardship to airports within it and creates a lot of upset. AOPA is also reminding pilots that with the hardening of the airspace barriers around Washington, a new rule requiring aircraft operating in the vicinity is also coming into effect. If you plan on flying within 60 nm of D.C. in the future, you need to take the online course mandated by the FAA by Feb. 9.