ADIZ meeting transcripts back online

 - September 18, 2006, 8:29 AM

The transcripts from the first of two public hearings on the proposed Washington, D.C., air defense identification zone (ADIZ), which were removed from the Internet at the request of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), were reposted April 12 without any reactions.

After discovering that the transcripts from the first public hearing on the ADIZ had been removed from the Transportation Department’s Web site, AOPA filed a Freedom of Information Act request to have them restored. The transcripts from a second hearing had never been posted.

The transcripts were removed from public view, the FAA said, because they might have contained security-sensitive information about security and defense operations in the Washington adiz. NORAD had asked the Department of Homeland Security to scrub the transcripts for any such information and redact any public comments that might have compromised security. According to AOPA, the Department of Homeland Security did not cut a word.

“What a pointless waste of effort,” said AOPA president Phil Boyer. “These were public meetings attended by hundreds of pilots and the news media. Pulling the transcripts weeks after the meeting certainly would not have secured any secret information, had there been any.”

NORAD’s action was prompted by comments that a Navy F/A-18 and light aircraft pilot, speaking as a private citizen, made about flight times from Dulles International Airport to downtown Washington in a general aviation airplane. There were no operational details presented that any competent private pilot could not figure out.

The transcript from the second hearing, at which the Navy pilot also testified, was posted after the transcript from the first hearing was reposted.

Meanwhile, with the sprouting of spring flowers comes the sprouting of TFRs. There will be “stadium” TFRs around any facility seating 30,000 or more people in which Major League Baseball, National Football League, NCAA Division One football or major motor speedway events are contested. Flight below 3,000 feet agl within three nautical miles is prohibited.