- Air Defense Identification Zone (Washington DC)
Air Defense Identification Zonehas existed since 2003 around the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Areato restrict air traffic near the White Houseand other locations in the District of Columbia.
The ADIZ was established after the
September 11, 2001 attacksas a temporary measure meant to prevent 9/11-style attacks. Many have criticized it as a "do-something" approach to security whose inconveniences outweigh its benefits.
Despite efforts by the
Federal Aviation Administrationto inform pilots of the ADIZ, there are still many unauthorized incursions by unsuspecting pilots. A pilot who violates the boundaries may be escorted by a Coast Guard HH-65C helicopter or a F-16fighter jet to the nearest airport, followed by suspension and/or revocation of the pilot's certificates.
Congress began considering legislation to make this ADIZ and other remaining post-9/11 temporary restrictions permanent in the wake of two mishaps that led to the evacuation of the Capitol. One involved a plane carrying the Governor of Kentucky. The other, almost a year later, involved a
Cessna 150flown by a student pilot accompanied by a pilot who was not familiar with the ADIZ rules, using an outdated chart.
Flight Restricted Zone
Within the ADIZ is an even more sensitive zone designated the Washington DC Metropolitan Area Flight Restricted Zone (DC FRZ). The DC FRZ extends approximately 13-15 nautical miles (15-17 statute miles) around the VOR/DME located at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Flight within the FRZ is restricted to governmental, certain scheduled commercial and a limited set of waivered flights. Three general aviation airports (known as the "Maryland 3" or the "DC 3") are located inside the DC FRZ. The "Maryland 3" are College Park Airport (CGS), Washington Executive/Hyde Field (W32), and Potomac Airport (VKX). The status of College Park Airport's claim to being "the oldest continuously operating airport in the world" has come in to question as a result of these restrictions.
Operating Procedures for the DC ADIZ
To operate an aircraft within the DC ADIZ a pilot must:
# File a
# Establish and maintain radio communications
# Transmit (“squawk”) a discrete mode-C
transpondercode assigned by Potomac Traffic Control, that reports altitude to air traffic controllers.
It is not necessary to obtain a Class Bravo
airspaceclearance to operate within the ADIZ; ADIZ operations are distinct and separate from any airspace clearances a pilot may receive, however a discrete transponder code is required to operate within the ADIZ, with or without a separate airspace clearance. A pilot may not, under any circumstances, squawk 1200 ( VFR) within the ADIZ.
An ADIZ flight plan must list one of the nine reference points as either the destination (if leaving the ADIZ) or the origin (if entering the ADIZ). Although the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) clearly states that explicit clearance is not required to enter the ADIZ once two-way communication is established and the pilot has set the discrete transponder code issued by Potomac Approach; in practice explicit clearance should always be obtained from Potamac Approach before entering the ADIZ to avoid any unpleasant events.
It is not necessary to fly to any of the eight reference points; instead, pick the one closest to the desired flight path. All eight are shown on an
IFRLow Altitude Chart and are official waypoints and should be in the Jeppesendatabase of an aviation GPSreceiver or Flight Management System(FMS).
Entrance to the ADIZ via Quantico ATC
An alternative to dealing with Potomac Approach is to enter ADIZ between
Marine Corps Air Facility Quantico(Airport code NYG) and Brooke VOR (BRV) below 3,000 feet. As Quantico's airspace intersects the boundary of the ADIZ, Quantico ATC has the authority to issue discrete transponder codes. A pilot should keep in mind that Quantico ATC has limited hours of operations during the week, and is closed most weekends. When Quantico is closed, Potomac Approach must be contacted in the usual fashion.
Pilots' groups, led by the
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association( AOPA), have argued that the ADIZ is unnecessary and has a harmful effect on the economy of small airports and aviation-related businesses in and near the ADIZ.Fact|date=March 2008 Pilots involved in law enforcement have described the ADIZ as a "major, unnecessary burden on pilots and air traffic controllers with almost no increased security benefit." [http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/newsitems/2005/051012adiz.html] AOPAand other groups are hoping to persuade Congress to lift or ease the ADIZ restrictions from Washington airspaceFact|date=March 2008 -- or at the very least to dramatically improve its operational aspects. Many have complained that the current situation creates operational and safety problems for pilots, leading to decreased safety and security overall.Fact|date=March 2008
In 2006 the FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [http://dms.dot.gov] docket number 17005 concerning making the temporary rules permanent. Over 20,000 responses were received the vast majority of them in opposition to making the temporary rules permanent.Fact|date=March 2008 There were two public hearings held by the FAA in the Washington D.C. area on the NPRM. All speakers were opposed to making the NPRM permanent.Fact|date=March 2008 The FAA published transcripts of the public hearings. [http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf95/383930_web.pdf] [http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf95/383929_web.pdf] The transcripts were later withdrawn from the public as they were alleged to contain Sensitive Security Information.Fact|date=March 2008
The ADIZ and operational procedures have been discussed in depth on two
Washington DCarea email lists, DCPilots(http://www.dcpilots.org/), and DCPilots-Yahoo(http://www.dcpilots.net/). AOPAhas also posted operational procedures, and provides online training through the Air Safety Foundation.
On July 26, 2007, the FAA announced plans to shrink and simplify the Washington ADIZ. As of August 30th, 2007, the ADIZ will be reduced to a smaller circle surrounding
Washington DCwith a radius of convert|30|nmi|km|-1. There will be a small triangular cutout for Leesburg Executive Airport. This change will reduce the size of the ADIZ by convert|1800|sqmi|km2|-2 and removes 33 airports from its coverage.
On August 30, 2007, the FAA implemented new rules for air traffic controllers and issued revised NOTAMs for pilots flying in the ADIZ. Although the NOTAMs and FAA procedures state that no radar services will be provided to pilots unless requested, air traffic controllers at Potomac TRACON are providing such services. This is due to a memorandum from the Potomac TRACON Air Traffic Manager to air traffic controllers stating that a certain paragraph (2-1-2) of the Air Traffic Control handbook (7110.65) is still applicable when providing ATC Security Services. This has been translated, by some air traffic controllers, that traffic advisories are required. Pilots flying in the Washington, DC, ADIZ should anticipate intermittent radar services (traffic advisories) without specifically requesting them.
Original Washington DC ADIZ
The Washington DC ADIZ was change to above on August 30, 2007.
North Warning System Distant Early Warning Line
* http://tfr.faa.gov - More information about Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) and ADIZ
* http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/AIM/Chap5/aim0506.html - Intercept procedures
* http://www.aopa.org/adiz/adiz.html - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association online ADIZ course
* http://www.avweb.com/news/airventure/EAAAirVenture2007_FAAMeetTheAdministrator_WashingtonDCADIZShrinks_195743-1.html - FAA Simplifies, Shrinks ADIZ
* [http://www.meretrix.com/~harry/flying/notes/adizprocs.html ADIZ information from a local pilot]
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