Move To Reopen VKX Was "A Foregone Conclusion"
It's official: Aero-News has confirmed that Potomac Airfield,
which has been in the spotlight of late as a kind of 'ground zero'
in the Washington D.C. ADIZ crisis, has reopened for business
as of 2:00 EST Friday afternoon.
"I got a call yesterday from the TSA, and then a couple of
congressmen last night," said Airport Manager David Wartofsky.
"Which serves as an example of the routes we've been pursuing, both
political and operational."
As has been extensively reported in
Aero-News, Potomac Airfield was closed by the TSA on
November 2, over what the agency claimed was Potomac's "failure to
comply with current security regulations." The other airports
comprising the so-called "DC-3" -- Maryland's College Park Airport
and D.C.'s Hyde Field -- remained open, and handled many
of the aircraft that had been displaced from Potomac.
In a statement released the next day -- which, just as with the
TSA statement, was published unedited by
Aero-News -- Wartofsky (above) replied "[a]irspace
security in the national capital area is provided by multiple
agencies. Rather than address the more significant long-standing
problems, unfortunately in this case, TSA has chosen the least
"While Potomac Airfield has continually improved security,
through improving plans approved by TSA, and by incorporating
security measures already in place for other operators in the
National Capital Area, TSA has withdrawn its approval for reasons
that are not clear," wrote Wartofsky in the November 3
As recently as last week, the FAA had issued a TFR
reminding pilots that VKX was shut down, with no end in sight... or
so it appeared on the outside, as Wartofsky, evidently, never
doubted what the end result would be.
"I'm not sure if congratulations are called for," Wartofsky told
ANN Friday. "There's no point in congratulations over a foregone
While the lifting of restrictions means pilots may now once
again utilize Potomac -- after going through a lengthy screening
process that includes prior approval of all operations at the field
by the TSA -- Wartofsky said the greater victory has been the
simple fact all parties involved (including but not limited to
Wartofsky, the TSA, and the FAA) are talking with each other
"What's more important than having the air field open, is that
we now have a constructive dialogue," he said.
"The good guys always win," he added, "when everyone's a good
guy, and you just need to figure out what the other guys need."