FAA replaces D.C. SFRA notam

July 1, 2010

The FAA has issued two revised notams for the Washington D.C. Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA); however, the new notams will have little impact on general aviation.

Changes in the notams, which go into effect Sept. 1, provide clarification for Department of Defense and federally owned aircraft and Ronald Reagan Washington National airport-approved carriers operating to and from Andrews Air Force Base and Davison Army Airfield. The FAA also provides clarification for aircraft that cannot maintain radio contact with ATC while departing the D.C. Flight Restricted Zone: “If the departure point is within the FRZ and the aircraft is within 5 nm of the departure point, the pilot may return to the departure point by the most direct route.  Otherwise, the pilot must exit the FRZ via the most direct route.”

Previously, pilots didn’t have the opportunity to return to their departure point within the SFRA or FRZ. Another notam will clarify that all VFR aircraft within 30 nautical miles of DCA be at or below 180 knots. This notam still contains the 230 knot restriction 30 to 60 nm from DCA. VFR aircraft that cannot maintain 180 knots or less should contact ATC and advise them of the aircraft’s operating limitations.