Update: Jan. 23, 2004 - The FAA, Transportation Security Administration, and other security officials have reimplemented and made permanent procedures to make operations at airports near the fringe of the Baltimore-Washington Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) easier. The modest change in ADIZ procedures grew out of an AOPA proposal last March and follows a review of a truncated 45-day test, which established ingress-egress procedures to two busy airports on Maryland's Eastern Shore and egress-only procedures for another dozen.
"These small changes are a promising step toward making the ADIZ more operationally workable - the first of what we hope will be many similar steps," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
"The U.S. Department of Transportation is required by the FAA Reauthorization bill to report back to Congress on the continued need for the ADIZ and steps taken to improve operations within it. AOPA believes the ADIZ has outlived its usefulness and hopes it will be rescinded. But until that happens, the new procedures should make operations at the edges of the ADIZ a little less complicated," said Boyer.
The procedures allow aircraft operating into and out of Bay Bridge Airport (W29) and Kentmorr Airport (3W3) to fly directly to or from the airport without filing a flight plan or contacting air traffic control. However, unlike the test period, pilots will need to squawk a specific transponder code for flights into or out of each airport - 1227 for Bay Bridge Airport and 1233 for Kentmorr Airport. The ingress-egress corridor will extend from 3 nm north of the Bay Bridge (Md. Rte. 50) to 5 nm south of the bridge and from the edge of the ADIZ in the east to a point no farther west that the westernmost point of the Bay Bridge. Aircraft operating to or from Kentmorr may fly no farther west than a line drawn from the westernmost point of the Bay Bridge to Kent Fort Manor Airport. Aircraft flying to or from either airport are expected to take the most direct route and remain below the existing 3,500' and 4,500' Class B shelves.
The procedures also allow aircraft to depart the following airports without first filing an ADIZ flight plan: Airlie, Albrecht, Harris, Martin, Martin State, Meadows, Mylander, Stewart, St. John, Tilghman Whipp, Upperville, and Wolf. Aircraft operating from those airports must squawk 1205 to broadcast their intention to depart the ADIZ. Once they've left the traffic pattern, pilots will be required to monitor the appropriate frequency for Potomac Consolidated Tracon but do not need to communicate with Potomac unless requested to do so by ATC. They will be expected to exit the ADIZ by the most direct route.
Pilots flying to any of those dozen airports or transiting the ADIZ area are still required to follow existing ADIZ procedures (be on an active IFR or VFR flight plan, maintain two-way communication with ATC, and squawk an ATC-assigned discrete transponder code). The notam advises pilots that any deviations from the procedures will trigger a military response.
While the FAA and security officials consider the new procedures permanent, they caution that the procedures are subject to review and could be rescinded if there are too many violations. AOPA has developed an online tutorial to help pilots familiarize themselves with the procedures.
"This is another small step forward in the ADIZ area," said Boyer. "It's crucial that pilots continue to follow the rules exactly so we can prove to doubting security officials that they were right to trust us."