This Land Is Your Land... Unless You're A
The Washington ADIZ is
about to be expanded, made permanent and FAR more restrictive. A
new FAA action, due to be published within a few hours, allows
the government to CRIMINALIZE violation of a new "National Defense
Airspace." Penalties could mean the imposition of fines and up to a
year in prison on 'anyone who knowingly or willingly enters the
The NDA will reportedly extend east beyond Baltimore, west
beyond Dulles International Airport in Virginia, north to
Gaithersburg, Md., and about 30 miles south of Washington.
This is astounding and terrifying news. The 'kinder, gentler'
FAA is now a pipedream... and this administration appears prepared
to declare war on GA. ANN strongly recommends aggressive and
organized opposition to this new rulemaking. There will reportedly
be a 90 day comment period on this rulemaking... and if there EVER
was a time to get involved... this looks to be it.
AOPA will oppose the FAA proposal. The restricted area would
replace the current air defense identification zone (ADIZ). It
would receive a brand-new designation, "National Defense Airspace,"
and cover nearly 2,000 square miles around Washington, D.C.,
extending to an altitude of 18,000 feet.
"AOPA recognizes the
necessity to protect the national assets in the nation's capital.
The 15-nautical-mile-radius no-fly zone known as the
flight-restricted zone (FRZ) does that," said AOPA President Phil
Boyer (right). "But we take strong exception with the FAA's
proposal to make the temporary outer ring of Washington's defensive
airspace — the ADIZ — permanent."
Since the September 11 attacks, the government has made numerous
upgrades to security systems around the nation's capital, including
a new visual warning system (VWS) that uses lasers to warn pilots
away from restricted airspace, installed anti-aircraft missile
batteries, and greatly improved radar coverage. Such measures
significantly enhance the protection offered by the FRZ, making the
The Washington, D.C., ADIZ and another over New York City were
established during a weekend in February 2003, as temporary
security measures imposed in preparation for the then-pending Iraq
war. The New York ADIZ was eliminated after President Bush declared
the end of major hostilities. However, two and a half years later,
the Washington-area ADIZ still exists.
"The government has failed to assess the impact of what was
intended as a temporary security enhancement on pilots, on air
traffic controllers, or on airports and the businesses based
there," Boyer continued. "No general aviation aircraft has ever
been used in a terrorist attack. And the government has determined
that not a single ADIZ violation was terrorist-related."
Since the ADIZ was implemented in 2003, AOPA has proposed
various ways the ADIZ could be altered without threatening national
security and without eliminating the FRZ. For example, AOPA
proposed allowing smaller, slower aircraft to operate without the
flight plan or identifier beacon requirements currently in place.
Such general aviation aircraft do not pose a significant threat
because they have neither the mass nor cargo-carrying capacity to
cause large-scale damage.
"The ADIZ is operationally unworkable and imposes significant
burdens on pilots and air traffic controllers alike," Boyer noted.
"Yet the FAA proposal does a poor job of even justifying making the
ADIZ permanent and does nothing to address the operational