The fallout from several recent incursions into the Washington, D.C., ADIZ, as well as the thefts of airplanes by unlicensed young people — one of whom was drunk — has begun.
Knee-jerk reactions have resulted in two amendments to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill in the U.S. Senate.
The most severe, sponsored by Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), calls for a $100,000 fine, confiscation of the aircraft, and the loss of flying privileges for five years for “whoever negligently flies an aircraft in a manner that violates the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) and causes the evacuation of a federal building or any other public property.”
The second amendment, from Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), calls for a government study of GA security, including the “vulnerability posed to high-risk areas and facilities from general aviation aircraft that could be stolen or used as a weapon or armed with a weapon.”
The study also would include GA airport security, technology that could easily track GA aircraft, disabling measures that could prevent aircraft theft, and “an assessment of the threat posed to high population areas, nuclear facilities, key infrastructure, military bases, and transportation infrastructure that stolen or hijacked general aviation aircraft pose, especially if armed with weapons or explosives.”