Despite the rollback in the national terrorist threat level to "yellow," the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) will remain in place. However, a few requirements have been relaxed.
"AOPA still believes that the airspace should be restored to what it was prior to the 'orange' alert," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But assuming there is still a national security reason for maintaining the ADIZ, the government must make it reasonably easy for pilots to conduct normal operations within the Baltimore-Washington Class B airspace footprint."
AOPA pledged to push the government to fix the operational problems GA pilots have encountered since the ADIZ was imposed February 10. "In order to make this happen, AOPA members must report any operational difficulties," Boyer said. Pilots should e-mail difficulty reports to [email protected].
Effective March 6, 2003, at 0600 local, pilots will no longer be required to file or activate a flight plan when conducting operations in the ADIZ. (The ADIZ includes all the area defined by the outer ring of the Class B airspace, plus an extension to the south and southeast, from the ground up to 18,000 feet.) Pilots must still establish two-way communication with ATC and obtain a discrete transponder code prior to operations in the ADIZ. For pilots entering the ADIZ, the procedure is the same as entering any Class B airspace (Call ATC and request permission to enter and a squawk code.) However, pilots departing from airports within the ADIZ must first obtain a discrete transponder code by calling Potomac Tracon on the radio or by telephone before taking off.
In addition, pilots operating out of the "DC-3 airports" (Potomac, College Park, and Hyde Field) will no longer have to undergo security inspections prior to departure or use the gateway airport upon re-entry of the flight-restricted zone.