To: Federal Aviation Administration
Subject: Federal Docket # FAA-2004-17005
I am a pilot. I was a Naval Aviator for more than 20 years, and am currently a captain for Southwest Airlines, based at the BWI airport. I am very familiar with the aviation profession. Just as important, I am a general aviation pilot, flying and teaching for the Civil Air Patrol and flying my own Cessna Cardinal from Manassas Airport (HEF), which is within the Washington ADIZ. I hold ATP, CFII/MEI, and numerous other ratings and have over 13,000 flight hours. I fly over 100 hours per year locally, and deal with the Washington ADIZ on a daily basis.
I have been flying in and around the Washington ADIZ since its inception both in my own aircraft and for the Civil Air Patrol, where I serve as the pilot evaluator for the squadron located at the Manassas airport, within the ADIZ. The ADIZ is operationally unworkable and has negatively affected me in many ways. While providing my services for the CAP, I am required to exit the ADIZ before I can begin my flight evaluations required for the students’ annual proficiency checks. This is an enormous fuel waste and extra wear and tear on the CAP aircraft (a government asset), adding virtually no security benefit from this ordeal. Several of our CAP pilots have purposely avoided the ADIZ, due to fear of violations. This equates to lost revenue for airport businesses within the ADIZ.
While flying my own aircraft for personal transportation, I (again) waste fuel and much time attempting to exit or regain entry into the ADIZ. The procedures for filing an ADIZ Flight Plan are time consuming for me and I’m sure bothersome for the FSS personnel. Once airborne, it sometimes takes numerous attempts to contact Potomac Approach, and it is almost prohibitive during the early evening, at the time of numerous Dulles departures. I know it’s a tremendous burden for the Potomac controllers, also.
Please, please, do away with this unnecessary airspace. It is unworkable, costly, and imposes huge burdens on all general aviation pilots in the local area. We are not the enemy! No GA aircraft has ever been used in a terrorist attack. Not a single ADIZ violation has been terrorist related. We already have protection of the Washington, D.C. area with the 15-mile FRZ. Keep that in place, but remove the ADIZ.
The Washington D.C. area and our nation are not safer as a result of this “temporary” ADIZ. Do away with it, for all the right reasons.
Thomas C. Saxon