With the FAA’s mandate that all pilots who might fly within a 60-nautical-mile radius of the Washington, D.C., VOR/DME take awareness training for the area’s Air Defense Identification Zone, one would think the agency would make it easy to take. Not so.
Instead, the agency’s online course, Navigating the New DC ADIZ, is buried behind multiple layers, including a registration section, making it difficult for pilots to even find the course.
On top of that, the FAA has said that pilots who had already taken the course, or its predecessor, Navigating the DC ADIZ, TFRs, and Special Use Airspace, did not need to take the course again.
However, the agency wants pilots to be able to prove to that they’ve taken the course if they are stopped by the FAA, NTSB, Transportation Security Administration, or federal, state, or local law enforcement officers.
That presents a problem for pilots who don’t have a certificate of completion printed. Pilots who took one of the courses more than a year ago cannot ago back into the course and print a certificate. The FAA also said it would keep a back record of those who had taken the course, but that doesn’t apply to those who had taken it more than a year ago either.
“With the compliance deadline only a few months away, these obstacles need to be quickly removed,” wrote AOPA Government Affairs Chief of Staff Randy Kenagy in a letter to the FAA. “The process for accessing the required training should be simplified, and the pilots who have already completed the required course should be recognized and allowed to print completion certificates.”
Pilots who plan to fly within 60 nm of the Washington, D.C., VOR/DME must complete the training by Feb. 9, 2009.