The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has reminded the FAA that the Washington Metropolitan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) was intended to be temporary and is urging the agency to make changes.
In the report accompanying legislation to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation, the committee, led by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), points out that the nearly 40-mile ADIZ was instituted in 2003 when the terrorist threat level reached its highest point since the attacks of September 11, 2001. At that time, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said the ADIZ would no longer be needed when the threat level dropped, as it since has.
"We're pleased that the committee leadership understands the AOPA and GA point of view - the ADIZ doesn't work and should be changed," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It was meant to be temporary, and its time has passed."
In its report the committee recognizes that general aviation has been unfairly burdened with regulations and restrictions since September 11: "Despite the fact that GA was neither a target nor a tool of the 9-11 terrorists, the federal government has imposed more security-related flight restrictions on GA than on any other sector of the aviation industry."
The report also notes that aviation security has increased since the 9-11 terrorist attacks and that the GA community has volunteered to work with transportation and security agencies to develop reasonable measures that won't strangle the economy or punish law-abiding private pilots.
"We've been working with the FAA, TSA, and others to find security measures that are appropriate and that really work, like AOPA's Airport Watch program," said Boyer. "But we want to be perfectly clear that the ADIZ is not the solution. It smothers general aviation without providing real security benefits."
May 9, 2005