The chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is taking strong opposition to making the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) permanent.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), an active general aviation pilot and AOPA member, told FAA Administrator Marion Blakey that not only is he opposed to the ADIZ, he is also very concerned that the agency has failed to comply with the law.
"What is most troubling about this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 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," said Inhofe. "Public Law 108-176 'Vision 100 - Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act,' required that the FAA provide Congress with justifications for the ADIZ every 60 days, which were to include proposed changes to improve operations. To my knowledge, we are still waiting for these justifications." Inhofe was directly responsible for the inclusion of that reporting requirement in the law.
Inhofe noted that, "as a general aviation pilot, I believe I am in a unique position to fully understand the concerns of the GA community. Specifically, there are legitimate concerns in operating 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 the simplest of infractions."
He said that while security around the nation's capital is important, it would also "be prudent for the FAA to evaluate ways to improve upon operational issues, address specific identified threats, and facilitate the flow of GA traffic in the outer airspace areas.
"Moreover, Section 602 of PL 108-176 requires it," he wrote.
AOPA members are urged to file their own comments on the proposal to make the ADIZ permanent. See AOPA's ADIZ Member Action Center.
October 25, 2005