Could The Washington ADIZ (Please!) Be Next???
The FAA, Thursday afternoon, has delivered on what the TSA
promised earlier in the day. The New York ADIZ and the
downtown Chicago TFR are now rescinded. FAA published the
cancellation notams this afternoon at 3:28 p.m. EDT. TSA said the
restrictions were eliminated because of the reduced threat of
terrorism now that major hostilities in Iraq have ceased and the
threat level has been reduced to "yellow."
"AOPA is pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has
taken this action," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Ever since the
ADIZ areas were established this past winter, AOPA has been
campaigning for the restrictions to be eliminated as soon as the
threat level was reduced. With today's action, we can claim partial
success, but we question why we are not seeing a similar lifting of
the Washington, D.C., ADIZ."
AOPA has been (the most) relentless in insisting to government
officials that airspace restrictions be tied to specific, credible
threats. On Wednesday, just hours after the threat level was
lowered, Boyer sent a strongly worded letter to the Department of
Homeland Security demanding that the ADIZ areas be lifted. Last
week AOPA pressed that message in meetings with various security
agencies and members of Congress.
"I'm firmly convinced our constant pressure — particularly
with the power of nearly 400,000 members behind us — kept GA
pilots' concerns about these restricted areas at the forefront of
officials' minds," said Boyer. "And we'll keep pressing on the
will be an important topic during an AOPA meeting early next week
with Asa Hutchinson, the Homeland Security under secretary
responsible for aviation issues. "The ADIZ was established when the
terrorist threat level was increased to orange in February and
should likewise be removed now that the threat level is back to
yellow," said Boyer.
For now, though, all of the existing operating requirements for
the Washington ADIZ remain in effect. This means pilots must file a
flight plan, obtain a discrete transponder code, and be in two-way
radio communication with air traffic control.
However, TSA will make some modifications to ease the burden on
pilots operating from the DC-3 airports (College Park, Washington
Executive/Hyde Field, Potomac Airport). DC-3-based pilots will no
longer need to use gateway airports or screening procedures.
In addition, TSA will reinstate waivers to the
National Capital Region, which primarily affects international
general aviation flights. And the agency will reinstate waivers to
the sporting events notam, although this will provide no relief for
banner towers because they are banned for one year by federal
legislation from receiving stadium waivers. The sporting event
waivers will primarily benefit broadcasters and VIPs and athletes
who want to fly to the event.
One caveat: The Disney TFRs remain in effect at
the moment... and no one we've contacted has a good reason for
that.... we'll keep you updated.