Doug Gould (FAA) and Col. Randy Morris
(Department of Defense), two of the 10 federal
officials facing pilots detailing ADIZ
problems at the public meeting Thursday.
More than 200 people on Thursday filled a conference room in Columbia, Maryland, and almost all were there to tell federal officials why the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) shouldn't be made permanent.
"The ADIZ should be abolished," said one of the first speakers, Scott Proudfoot. He was speaking for the controllers union, NATCA, and said, "The ADIZ is nothing but a burden on the users and the controllers."
AOPA had pushed for the public meetings, arguing that regulators needed to hear directly from pilots themselves about the problems caused by the ADIZ. And there are plenty.
Because of radar limitations, fighters have been scrambled to "intercept" a flock of geese and a truck on I-395.
Meanwhile, pilots didn't realize that an ADIZ clearance wasn't the same thing as "radar identification," so that even though they were talking to ATC, they weren't receiving traffic advisories.
William Finagin, whose company sells Aviat aircraft, said he had lost $1 million a year in sales since the ADIZ was imposed.
"Potential customers refuse to fly into the ADIZ," he said, "and I've also lost more than $118,000 a year in flight training income."
Another local pilot based at Montgomery County Airpark inside the ADIZ said an FBO there had closed because of lack of business.
"Flights to our second home in Williamsburg (Virginia) are now 50 percent longer, and I spend $50 more for fuel because of circumnavigating the ADIZ," said Russell Madsen.
The public meeting continued through Thursday evening, with representatives from six federal agencies, including the FAA, TSA, Homeland Security, Defense Department, Customs and Border Protection, and the Secret Service listening to pilots.
A second public meeting, where AOPA President Phil Boyer will speak, is scheduled next Wednesday in Dulles, Virginia.
Nearly 20,000 people have already filed written comments, mostly in opposition to the ADIZ. The comment period will remain open until February 6. See AOPA's Member Action Center: Operation ADIZ for more information.
January 12, 2006