November 16, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA has published an advisory of a new notice to airmen that gives an overview of changed procedures for ingress to and egress from the Leesburg (Va.) Executive Airport, effective Nov. 30.
Under the new notam, it will no longer be necessary for pilots who follow the published procedures for entering and exiting the Leesburg Maneuvering Area of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) to file an SFRA flight plan.
However, pilots planning to remain in the Leesburg airport traffic pattern must continue to follow the existing requirement to file an SFRA flight plan. Pilots departing Leesburg whose route of flight takes them from the Leesburg Maneuvering Area into the rest of the SFRA also must continue to file an SFRA flight plan.
The change improves efficiency of operations for pilots departing or arriving at the airport, which is located on the northwest fringe of the Washington, D.C. ,SFRA. Leesburg Maneuvering Area operations have been the subject of ongoing discussions between the FAA, the local pilot community, AOPA, and other stakeholders aimed at reducing SFRA violations and educating pilots on the procedures to follow in the Leesburg Maneuvering Area. Many of the violations consisted of pilots setting their transponders improperly instead of using the codes specified in the notam.
Pilots are urged to review the new notam, which will replace existing notam 0/4965 on Nov.30.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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