DC ADIZ Subject of Renewed SBA Watchdog Effort

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The Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (DC ADIZ) last week made the Small Business Administration's "Top 10" list of government reforms to be pursued this year by the SBA's Office of Advocacy, which Congress created in 1976 to represent the interests of small businesses that are affected by Federal legislative and rule-making processes. A dozen public-use general aviation airports and their associated small businesses are located within the DC ADIZ, defined by a 30-mile ring around the Washington VOR/DME. The SBA proposal was submitted by David Wartofsky, manager of the Potomac Airfield in Maryland, one of three airports located within the tightly controlled Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) that is embedded within the DC ADIZ. "National security can be used to justify anything," Wartofsky told AVweb. "But what are the costs and what are the benefits?" He hopes the SBA will employ the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (originally the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980) to urge the FAA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service to justify the impacts the airspace restrictions have had on the local economy. However, a spokesman for the Office of Advocacy told AVweb that the SBA has limited resources to force any action. "We can't compel them to do anything," said SBA spokesman John McDowell. "We don't have a big stick we can whack anybody with. We have our ability to raise the issue in the public consciousness." The Office of Advocacy submitted one of the more than 21,000 comments received by the FAA in response to its August 2005 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to make the ADIZ permanent. The boundary of the ADIZ was modified in August 2007, but the FRZ remains largely unchanged.