As the pressure mounts in Congress to do something about pilots who bust the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) around Washington, D.C., the FAA has apparently decided to try to head off any “draconian” legislation.
Air Defense Identification Zone
In the aftermath of 9/11, the number-one priority quickly became answering “How did it happen?” and “How do we stop it from happening again?”
Four years later, we know how it happened, leaving the matter of how to stop it from happening again, and raising a third question: “How safe are we?”
Federal legislation (H.R. 3465) has been introduced that would levy a fine of between $10,000 and $100,000 and impose a certificate suspension of at least two years against a pilot who violates the D.C. flight-restricted zone. A maximum of $5,000 would be assessed against a pilot who enters the D.C. air defense identification zone without a clearance.
While many in general aviation were seeking to modify or eliminate the much-loathed Washington air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the FAA executed a 180-degree course change early last month and issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to make the ADIZ permanent.
Despite some 20,000 negative comments and calls to abolish the Washington, D.C., air defense identification zone (ADIZ), a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill resulted in little progress in making flying in or near the large block of airspace less onerous for general aviation pilots.
With nearly 20,000 comments received on the proposal to make the Washington, D.C., air defense identification zone (ADIZ) permanent, the FAA will hold two public meetings this month to give pilots, airport managers and others a chance to present their views on the proposal.
Last month pilots, airport managers and others gathered at two public meetings to tell the FAA what they think of the agency’s proposal to make the Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone (ADIZ) a permanent fixture. But lurking in the rooms like a stealthy 900-pound gorilla was the even more worrisome possibility that the FAA might mandate similar “security” treatment elsewhere.
The comment period on the proposal to transform the Washington, D.C., air defense identification zone (ADIZ)–which covers 3,700 sq mi that closely follow the Washington-Baltimore Class B airspace–into the Washington area special flight rules area (SFRA) closed early last month, with the FAA receiving a record 21,380 responses.
After the FAA removed the transcript of the first public meeting about the Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone (ADIZ) from the Web, AOPA filed a Freedom of Information Act request to have it returned to public view.
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.