"Now that the security threat level has dropped to 'yellow,' we're going to demand that government remove first the New York and then the Washington ADIZ." AOPA President Phil Boyer made that promise for swift, strong action Monday night during a Pilot Town Meeting for New York-area pilots.
"These restricted flying areas are an operational disaster," Boyer said. "If they really worked as intended, pilots wouldn't be inadvertently violating them, controllers wouldn't be overworked, and aircraft would be flying rather than sitting on the ground trying to get a clearance."
Pilots' problems operating in the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) was one of the hot topics for the meeting held near Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. Some 91 percent of the more than 400 pilots attending the meeting said the New York ADIZ had impacted their flying.
Pilots cited long delays in obtaining clearances to fly in the ADIZ, which encompasses the entire "Mode C veil" (30 nautical miles around Kennedy, La Guardia, and Newark) and impacts 27 public-use landing facilities. (The Washington ADIZ covers some 23,000 square miles around Baltimore, Washington, and Dulles International Airport and impacts some 23 public-use facilities.)
Other pilots complained about the difficulty in understanding the operating rules. And a surprising number, some 73 percent, said they weren't comfortable that they had received all notams pertaining to restricted airspace when they obtained their preflight briefings.
While the FAA recently adopted an AOPA suggestion to use a single transponder code for aircraft flying in the traffic pattern at towered airports, 91 percent of the pilots in the audience felt that should be expanded to nontowered airports as well, to ease the burden on flight schools and flight training activities.
And 100 percent of the pilots promised they would support an AOPA "call to action" if the ADIZs are not removed now that the security threat level is reduced.
Boyer continues his New York series of Pilot Town Meetings tonight in Long Island.