…At What Cost, Security?…


The FAA claims the extra burden on the aviation community associated with the permanent restrictions will be about $250 million over 10 years, almost all of it to cover the extra work of controllers and FAA administrative staff. It’s estimated the direct cost to those using the 19 airports within the zone will be about $250,000 a year for the time used filing the mandatory flight plans. It also acknowledges that the three airports within the 15-mile inner circle of the zone face special costs that could push their annual costs to between $1.6 million and $2 million each. However, the FAA’s financial assumptions are based on the current level of traffic and could be misleading, according to airport officials interviewed by the Washington Times. David Wartofsky, owner of Potomac Airfield in Fort Washington, said that if the restricted airspace becomes permanent, aircraft owners may move to airports outside the zone. “A lot of pilots hoped the restrictions on flight within the ADIZ would go away,” said Wartofsky. “If it is made permanent, a lot of them will bail out and move their planes outside the border.” Bob Hepp, owner of Aviation Adventure flight school at Manassas Regional Airport and Leesburg Executive, said he’ll stay put. “We’ve learned to live with the procedures but I was still hoping they would go away,” he said.