The Washington, D.C., ADIZ
with Flight Restricted Zone
As pilots around the nation urge the FAA not to make the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) permanent, one community that has been directly affected by the restrictions is taking action of its own.
The Town of Leesburg, home to Leesburg Executive Airport, has passed a resolution strongly urging the FAA to withdraw the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would make the ADIZ permanent, reduce the airspace restrictions as much as security concerns will allow, and consider the economic and political impacts of the airspace restrictions. And the local airport commission has sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta detailing the financial hardships the ADIZ has created and urging him to stop the hemorrhaging by eliminating the ADIZ.
"If you want to know what kind of harm an ADIZ could cause in your community, you need look no further than the dramatic losses sustained by Leesburg," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "This is a community that was poised to grow its airport and its business infrastructure - and now it's just trying to hold on to the businesses that remain."
In its October 25 resolution, the town council pointed out that federal, state, and local governments have invested more than $20 million in Leesburg Executive Airport for improvements that promote safety, future development, and economic growth - investments that could become worthless if airspace restrictions make the airport unattractive to business and personal fliers.
Those sentiments were echoed in comments the Leesburg Executive Airport Commission sent to Secretary Mineta listing specific examples of the harm the ADIZ has caused to the airport and surrounding community. (Secretary Mineta will be making a personal appearance at AOPA Expo's opening general session, on Thursday, November 3, in Tampa, Florida.)
"Every time we survey the market, operators tell us that the complexities and potentially lethal consequences of being intercepted within the ADIZ make Leesburg Executive Airport an unattractive alternative," wrote Stephen Axeman, chairman of the airport commission.
October 31, 2005