Ten general aviation (GA) airports inside the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) that are dependent on providing services to pilots of light aircraft are losing nearly $43 million per year in wages, revenue, taxes, and local spending. That's the finding of an independent study commissioned by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
"The study shows that those most affected by the ADIZ are GA aircraft owners and pilots, and the businesses that serve this group, even though they pose the least threat," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "If the ADIZ is not modified, it could permanently jeopardize the economic viability of GA operations in the Washington, D.C., area."
Total revenue at the impacted airports has dropped $27.5 million since the ADIZ imposition in 2003. And more than 100 jobs have been lost, sales of aviation gasoline are down by nearly 20 percent, a flight school has closed, and many pilots have either stopped flying or have moved out of the area.
"Overall, it is clearly apparent that airports within the ADIZ have been negatively impacted (both operationally and economically) by the events of 9/11 and that their recovery had lagged the recovery experienced at airports outside of the ADIZ," the study conducted by Aviation Management and Consulting Group and Martin Associates revealed.
AOPA commissioned the study to find out just how much the ADIZ is negatively impacting those airports because the FAA failed to gather any data about the impact the ADIZ has on GA airports.
The firms analyzed economic data from 2002 through 2004 at 13 airports within the ADIZ and 20 airports around the perimeter of the ADIZ. Airports within the ADIZ were also compared to other national and regional airports. In addition to gathering specific economic data, the firms conducted one-on-one meetings and telephone conversations with airport operators, airport businesses, and airport users.
Some of the specifics at individual airports are telling examples of the negative effect an ADIZ can have on a GA airport.
Take Martin State Airport in Baltimore: From 2002 to 2004, Martin State has lost nearly $7 million each year in local spending. It also reports an annual loss of $15 million in airport revenue.
Or look at Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Maryland: It has lost 72 direct, induced, and indirect jobs, which equates to about $2.5 million in lost annual personal income. And airport revenue is down $3.7 million.
AOPA will be including copies of the executive summary in its comments on the FAA proposal to make the ADIZ permanent.
The more than 406,000 members of AOPA make up the world's largest civil aviation association. AOPA is committed to striking a common-sense balance that fulfills national security needs while protecting aircraft owners and pilots from overly burdensome regulations.
November 1, 2005