AOPA Issues ADIZ Alert…


Membership Mobilized To Fight Permanent Restrictions

It appears pilots are responding to AOPA’s national alert to protest permanent implementation of the Washington Air Defense Identification Zone. The alert went out to all 406,000 AOPA members on Oct. 5 and by Saturday afternoon more than 1,200 fresh protests had been registered (although there’s no way of knowing how many were inspired by AOPA’s alert). The flurry pushed the total number of comments registered on the controversial Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to a little more than 2,000. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 2. AOPA says it’s only the third time in the last 10 years it has felt the need to mobilize the membership, but the precedent-setting nature of the NPRM made it necessary. AOPA President Phil Boyer said the concern is two-fold. He said the ADIZ is an exaggerated response to the minimal threat posed by light aircraft. He claims the capital has all the protection it needs from the 15-nm flight restricted zone (FRZ) around Washington. The 3,000-square-mile ADIZ causes operational and economic disruption, not to mention dramatically increasing a pilot’s chances of being shot down. But Boyer said it’s not just D.C.-area pilots who should be concerned: “… such an action paves the way for costly, confusing flight restrictions within the footprint of every Class B airspace around the country.” AOPA contends that other cities are considering asking for similar “protection” and this NPRM could be the catalyst.