The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy is asking the FAA to consider alternatives to making the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) a permanent fixture around the capital.
In comments filed Monday, the agency urged the FAA to get more information about the impact of the ADIZ on small businesses and offer "less burdensome" alternatives to making the ADIZ permanent.
"The SBA's comments reinforce the fact that airspace restrictions like these aren't just a problem for pilots," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. "The effects extend well beyond the pilot community and create real hardships for business owners and their employees. It's great to know that the SBA's Office of Advocacy is listening to the businesses it represents."
AOPA instigated the Office of Advocacy's involvement in the issue. AOPA's Rob Hackman, manager of regulatory and certification policy, twice briefed its aviation roundtable on the economic impact of the flight restrictions on businesses in and near the ADIZ.
The FAA's economic analysis only considered two of the airports affected by the ADIZ, but a broader analysis commissioned by AOPA found that the ADIZ was costing more than $43 million a year in lost wages and local spending and taxes for the 13 airports inside the ADIZ and 20 other nearby airports.
"Advocacy is hopeful that through its public hearings and this comment process, FAA is able to develop other alternatives that might meet its regulatory objectives in a less burdensome manner," the agency wrote in its comments. "Advocacy suggests that FAA publish new alternatives, complete with small business impact data, for public comment on an expedited basis."
February 7, 2006