Action Isn't Following
ANN News-Spy Patrick sent us this clip:
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is considering the
unusual step of buying three small airports because
government-imposed flight restrictions around the nation's capital
are effectively putting them out of business. Tansportation
Secretary Norman Mineta told congressional lawmakers this week the
option was discussed for the Maryland airports, but no decision was
made and no price was disclosed."
We called the owner-operator ("'Emperor' sounded
just too imperious," he explained) of the Potomac airfield, David
Wartofsky, to see just how much of that rumor was filtering down to
the level of "action."
Not much, it turns out. "I checked my mail today, and there's no
$10 million check in it," the 'big cheese' told us. He
hasn't made retirement plans, either. "They've been talking about
that for a long, long time."
He has some interesting new material on the airport's site,
though, regarding how the airspace / pilot / captive airfield
program works -- or, more properly, how it isn't working.
"There are some very smart people high up in those
organizations," he told us. Why don't we see evidence of
that, down here on the ground? "Neither an organization's head,
tail, nor innerds can act by itself. At the TSA, FAA, even the
Secret Service and Customs, all the body parts have been going in
He says the ADIZ is, "a mis-application, by people
who don't understand what we were doing [in the TFR], or why." The
attitude that needs to be adopted, and is, under the TFR, is
similar to the situation of a military airport during wartime.
"We've never been 'filing flight plans and squawking.' It's
basically a PPR (prior permission required) airspace -- it's IFF
(identification: friend or foe). The flight plan is merely an
airspace clearance. The act of requesting a clearance -- the mere
act, in the TFR, by a vetted pilot -- authenticates that it is
generated by that pilot," he explained. The flight plan, by itself,
has nothing to do with security.
It's not rocket science.
"The TFR is actually the design paradigm for 'Code Orange,'" he
said. "It's not hard to do -- you vet pilots, establish a point
defense, and route traffic."
Why are things settling down, on the home front? "The dogs of
war are getting tired of running in circles," he explained.
The website has a great section on one man's appraisal of the
ADIZ, and the way security could be handled...