In response to an AOPA recommendation, the FAA is implementing a test program this weekend aimed at alleviating the overwhelming communication burden on the air traffic system and facilitate general aviation traffic pattern operations at six airports inside the Washington, D.C., and New York air defense identification zones (ADIZs). The test will allow aircraft to conduct closed traffic pattern operations without filing a flight plan as otherwise required by the ADIZ procedures. If it goes well, the FAA will implement the new procedure at all general aviation airports in both ADIZs.
The test will be in effect on Saturday and Sunday only (during ATC control tower hours of operation), and pilots wishing to take off and conduct closed traffic pattern operations at the selected airports will not have to file a flight plan. They are only required to call the control tower, state their intention to conduct closed traffic pattern work, receive the discrete beacon code, and remain in two-way communication with the control tower.
This procedure should provide considerable relief for flight training operations at the test airports, which include:
New York ADIZ:
"AOPA is pleased that the FAA is taking at least a small step in the right direction," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Reducing the number of requests for transponder codes by assigning discrete codes for pattern operations for each airport within the ADIZ will reduce the burden on pilots and the system."