DC ADIZ Likely To Be Made Permanent, AOPA Says

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A lot of things will be happening in Washington, D.C., over the next two months, and AOPA said this week that one of those things will probably be a final rule making the D.C. Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) a permanent fixture. The Bush administration is set on pushing the rule through before they leave office in January, AOPA's Andy Cebula, executive vice president of government affairs, said this week. "We're going to fight this until the very end," he added. Cebula and others met with officials from the Office of Management Budget on Monday and proposed two alternatives to the permanent ADIZ -- one, to allow an ADIZ to be established by NOTAM as needed, or two, to shrink the ADIZ from its current 30-nm radius to 20 nm. "Either action would improve general aviation health in the region," Cebula told OMB officials. GA pilots now regularly avoid the D.C. metro area, he said, and many aircraft owners who were based inside the ADIZ have relocated their airplanes or stopped flying.

"We also reminded OMB officials that the government has never presented a specific, intelligence-based threat assessment to justify the ADIZ," Cebula said. "Nor has the government provided evidence or analysis demonstrating that the ADIZ results in any measurable increase in security." The ADIZ was established by NOTAM in 2003. More than 22,000 pilots responded to an FAA request for comments in 2006 when the proposal was made to make the ADIZ permanent. The FAA requires all pilots who fly within 60 miles of the Washington, D.C., VOR/DME to take special ADIZ awareness online training by Feb. 9. "The government has made it too complicated, too complex for pilots," Cebula said.