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ADIZ DUATS flight plan problems illustrate larger operational failuresADIZ DUATS flight plan problems illustrate larger operational failures

ADIZ DUATS flight plan problems illustrate larger operational failures

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Want a real-life illustration of the operational problems with an ADIZ? Consider what happened this week when the FAA tried to change the flight plan requirement.

Earlier this week, the FAA confidently told AOPA that pilots could file ADIZ flight plans through DUATS. Previously, the required VFR or IFR flight plan could only be filed through a flight service station, so adding DUATS filing would have been a small step forward in reducing some of the ADIZ operational hassles for pilots. AOPA has pushed for that change since 2003.

This week, the FAA changed and distributed the ADIZ notam to allow for DUATS flight plans.

But it apparently couldn't change the cobbled-together system that created the ADIZ.

While some pilots have successfully filed ADIZ flight plans through DUATS and been cleared into the ADIZ, many others have been denied access.

FAA headquarters management tells AOPA the system should work. Managers at Potomac Tracon say the system should work. But some controllers at Potomac Tracon won't issue clearances for DUATS-filed flight plans.

Meanwhile, the two contractors who run the DUATS system are as frustrated as the pilots. The FAA hasn't yet officially told the contractors to remove the "no ADIZ flight plans" disclaimer from their sites, nor what they need to change technically. "I've asked FAA to tell me what I need to change, and I'll do it immediately," one contractor told AOPA. "They said they'd get back to me."

Said AOPA President Phil Boyer, "Is it any wonder we've called the ADIZ operationally unworkable?"

October 20, 2005

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