The Washington, D.C., ADIZ
with Flight Restricted Zone (Illustration by John MacNeill)
Does the 9/11 Commission want ADIZs everywhere? Perhaps. In the commission's first "report card," it gives the government a B- for homeland airspace defense. The commission notes that there is "no overarching plan to secure airspace outside the National Capital region."
"That's most ominous," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs, "because what 'secures' the National Capital region is the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)!
"I'm not sure which is more distressing - that the commission thinks the Washington, D.C., ADIZ works, or that they think the model should be applied elsewhere," said Cebula.
Which makes it all the more critical that pilots tell the government that they don't want the Washington, D.C., ADIZ to continue, and they definitely don't want an ADIZ in their airspace.
In its original report, the 9/11 Commission said that NORAD - the North American Aerospace Defense Command - focused only on threats from outside the United States, even though terrorists might "use planes as missiles."
The report card, issued Monday, adds that "no single agency currently leads the interagency response to airspace violations."
"What we have seen before with these kind of reports is a knee-jerk reaction to do something - anything - to prove that you're doing something," said Cebula. "And the easiest thing for them to do would be to create more ADIZs."
But ADIZs would be the wrong thing to do, according to AOPA. The one-size-fits-all approach unfairly penalizes general aviation, damages small businesses, increases transportation inefficiencies, and adds additional non-safety-related burdens upon already over-tasked air traffic controllers. (See AOPA's Member Action Center: Operation ADIZ.)
December 7, 2005