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Members of Congress join the fight against the ADIZMembers of Congress join the fight against the ADIZ

Members of Congress join the fight against the ADIZ

GAMA adds to ADIZ comments

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has sounded off on the ADIZ. In its letter to FAA Administrator Blakey, GAMA also has asked for a public meeting on the onerous airspace.

"While I certainly understand and agree that security measures are needed," said GAMA President Peter Bunce, "I believe the best way to address these measures is in close coordination with the airmen who fly in and around this airspace."

"We applaud and appreciate GAMA's efforts and hope the other 'alphabets' will soon follow suit," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Individual AOPA members have done a tremendous job in protesting the effort to make the ADIZ permanent. We need the added pressure from the other aviation associations."

As part of its extensive efforts against the ADIZ, AOPA also has requested a public meeting on the notice of proposed rulemaking that would make the ADIZ permanent.

Rep. Robin Hayes, Rep. Sam Graves, and Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers
Rep. Robin Hayes, Rep. Sam
Graves, and Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers

While AOPA members are weighing in by the thousands against the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), AOPA members who are also members of Congress are taking a stand as well.

"I have spent my whole career trying to convince regulators and my colleagues to get rid of rules and regulations that place a substantial burden or pose an unnecessary nuisance without significantly increasing safety or security," wrote Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-Mich.) in his letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, detailing just some of the onerous burdens imposed by the ADIZ. "I've heard from many general aviation pilots who have experienced problems trying to operate in the ADIZ, including increased hold times, potentially unsafe maneuvering as they circle outside the ADIZ, confusing clearances, lost flight plans, and stiff and irreversible penalties for minor infractions."

Rep. Ehlers is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FAA. Federal agencies usually pay close attention when members of Congress who have direct control of the agency's budget make a "suggestion."

Two other members of that committee - Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) - have weighed in as well.

"The ADIZ was originally put in place as a temporary measure, with little regard for its effect on aviation operations, airports, and businesses," said Rep. Hayes. "Due to its size and operational requirements, the ADIZ has been especially difficult for pilots of light, general aviation aircraft and the businesses and airports that support them."

Said Rep. Graves, "What is troubling about this NPRM is that the FAA is proposing to make permanent the ADIZ without addressing the necessary operational concerns to ease the burden on pilots and air traffic controllers.... Protecting the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area can be achieved with the existing requirements for the 15-mile Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ). But lighter aircraft, flying at slower speeds, should not be subject to the current ADIZ requirements for filing a flight plan, obtaining a unique transponder code, and maintaining two-way communications with air traffic control."

Updated: October 20, 2005, 12:06 p.m. EDT

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