Grounded. That will be the state of general aviation in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area on January 31. That's when President Bush will deliver his State of the Union address to both houses of Congress.
That evening - from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. - no GA will be allowed to fly inside the 3,000-square-mile footprint of the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Period.
"Since 9/11, this TFR for the State of the Union has been standard operating procedure," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "And while we certainly understand the need to take extra precautions when top officials of all three branches of the federal government are collected in one room, we wonder what kind of corresponding restrictions will be implemented on surface transportation, which can get very close to the Capitol with much greater payload than a Cessna 172."
The airlines, of course, will be able to continue to fly during the President's speech. And IFR flights to Washington Dulles International (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall (BWI) airports will be permitted.
But no flights to or from any of the 21 other airports inside the ADIZ. That includes the "fringe" airports, Bay Bridge (W29) and Kentmore (3W3), and the DC-3 airports - College Park Airport (CGS), Potomac Airfield (VKX), and Washington Executive/Hyde Field (W32) - which normally have special ingress/egress procedures.
January 20, 2006