Potomac Airfield (VKX) near Washington, D.C., has reopened.
The Transportation Security Administration closed the airport in November, claiming Airport Manager David Wartofsky was not following TSA-approved security procedures established in 2002 for the three airports in the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Wartofsky countered the measures that were used at Potomac went beyond the scope of those required by the TSA. Potomac was reopened after Wartofsky implemented the TSA-approved plan and demonstrated that the procedures were being followed.
Pilots who fly in and out of the DC-3 — Potomac, College Park Airport and Hyde Field — must have a security clearance and be vetted.
When the TSA ordered Potomac closed, Wartofsky appealed to Congress, arguing that the TSA had not established a clear objective when it created the security measures because of layers of bureaucracy within the agency.
“The trick was to use this incident to bring some issues to the table,” said Wartofsky. “Those issues, mostly operational, are now on the table and now Congress is involved and there is some oversight and now people are focused on what they are supposed to be doing.”
Wartofsky adds that the episode “established new lines of communication between the TSA and the airports in the DC-3 and in effect woke up the TSA to show them that business as usual was not the most expedient or efficient means of operating the airports.”