New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce, an AOPA member, brought the problems of the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) front and center this week during discussion of legislation that would continue the operations of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its subsidiary agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration.
During this week's hearing in the House Homeland Security Committee, Pearce said, "We have serious difficulties with the ADIZ, and I want to lead the effort to make the ADIZ more operationally usable for general aviation." That came as the committee added an amendment directing the Department of Homeland Security and the FAA to reopen Reagan National Airport (DCA) to general aviation within 180 days.
This bill moved through the committee without any onerous new GA security regulations being added and saw gains for general aviation.
AOPA's legislative affairs staff had worked behind the scenes to educate committee members on the many steps the general aviation community already has taken to improve security, such as AOPA's Airport Watch and the joint industry-TSA airport security guidelines.
The reauthorization bill is a top priority for Chairman Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), who met with AOPA President Phil Boyer just last week to discuss general aviation security concerns.
The bill is tentatively scheduled for consideration, and possibly further amendment, on the floor of the House of Representatives during the month of May.
April 28, 2005