Jan. 16, 2004 - No VFR flights and only a limited amount of general aviation IFR flights will be permitted in the Baltimore-Washington Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) next Tuesday when President Bush delivers his State of the Union address. The speech has been designated a National Security Special Event, which means that the Secret Service is in overall charge of all security, including flight restrictions.
"While the scope of airspace affected by this TFR (temporary flight restriction) is expansive, it is time limited," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "After months of criticizing the FAA for issuing last-minute restrictions, we're pleased that the agency has given pilots nearly five full days' notice."
TFRs over the U.S. Capitol while the President delivers the State of the Union address predate the September 11 terrorist attacks, although they used to be much smaller.
This year, the restricted area matches the footprint of the charted ADIZ, to FL180 (18,000 feet). From 8 p.m. local until 11:30 p.m. local, all VFR and Part 91 flight operations within the ADIZ and Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ - essentially a 15-nm ring around the DCA VOR) are prohibited. However, exceptions will be granted for aircraft operating into or out of Dulles International Airport (IAD) or Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), providing those aircraft have an active IFR flight plan and are in constant communication with air traffic control.