Plan Would Ease Restrictions At Some Airports
Will it shrink... grow larger... or stay exactly the same? Well,
if we're to believe rumors flying out of Washington, DC concerning
impending changes to the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)
over the nation's capital... it's anyone's guess.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association states federal
officials continue to talk about changes to the security zone, a
bane to general aviation pilots operating in the area since early
2003. Rumors as to what form those changes may take received new
life last week, due to comments made by FAA managers from the
Speaking at a regional pilots forum, the managers state
discussions are underway to replace the current "Mickey
Mouse-shaped" ADIZ with a 30-nautical-mile-radius circle, centered
on the Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) Vortac.
While such a change would only represent a partial reduction in
the ADIZ airspace -- and the existing Flight Restricted Zone would
remain basically the same -- it would also remove four Maryland
airports (Essex Skypark, Martin State, Bay Bridge, and Kentmorr)
from the ADIZ. It would also permit less restrictive procedures at
Leesburg and Manassas airports in Virginia, according to AOPA.
In response to the latest news, AOPA President Phil Boyer said,
essentially, 'place your bets.'
"If I had a dime for every rumor concerning the ADIZ, I'd be a
millionaire!" Boyer said. "Since this particular scenario was given
by the FAA to pilots and matches some of the other intelligence my
staff has been reporting, it seems worthwhile to pass it
The rumored solution would continue to place requirements on
nearly 1,700 based aircraft and 15 public-use airports.
"Our staff continues to maintain close contact with the FAA,
Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of
Defense, just a few of the many agencies involved in the ADIZ
decision making," Boyer added. "And at this point, we have no
official or even unofficial word that this is the final
The FAA is in the midst of a rulemaking process, which will
solidify the airspace rules and regulations for the nation's
capital. The agency is still reviewing comments on that proposal,
and has until July to make a final decision.
Or not. Further rumors indicate that the date could be