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Sat, Apr 12, 2003

FAA Meets The Press On New York, Washington ADIZs

Check Notams, Observe ADIZ Procedures

The FAA Friday took to the microphones, a rather unusual step, to talk about the New York and Washington Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZs). But the AOPA says, while the FAA's intent was to "get the word out to pilots" about the existence of the ADIZs, the unfortunate "spin" in the press will be on the number of pilot incursions.

AOPA: They Don't Work

AOPA reminds pilots that they must obtain NOTAMS before every flight and that they must understand and follow ADIZ procedures. But in interviews with the media, AOPA executives Friday criticized the failings of the notification system and the operational procedures within the ADIZs.

AOPA spokesman Warren Morningstar called the notam system "creaky, based on ancient technology. Pilots don't always get the information they need in a readily understandable form." He also said a lot of pilots are absolutely frustrated with a system they say is unable to handle the number of aircraft trying to fly within the ADIZ. On good flying days, Morningstar said, pilots have waited for 45 minutes or more to get a clearance, and that ATC has sometimes run out of transponder codes, meaning no more aircraft are allowed to fly.

Four weeks ago, AOPA proposed four specific steps to reduce the operational problems with the ADIZs while still maintaining security. While the government has implemented a limited form of one of AOPA's proposals (one transponder code for flight pattern operations at towered airports), it has not acted on any of the other suggestions.

FMI: www.aopa.org

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