Of all the things she told the crowd during the Meet the Administrator Forum at EAA AirVenture, nothing raised as much of a cheer as the announcement that the FAA is reducing the size of the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
Instead of resembling the head of Mickey Mouse, the newly designed, smaller ADIZ looks more like a pizza with a piece of crust missing.
“That nick in the corner is for Leesburg Airport, so that they can get in and out,” Blakey explained.
Instead of three interconnecting rings around Washington and Baltimore, the ADIZ will become a 30-nm circle around the DCA VOR/DME. This will free up 33 airports and helipads and 1,800 square miles of airspace, according to FAA officials. That leaves 15 public-use airports covered by the ADIZ restrictions.
The ADIZ requires pilots to maintain two-way radio communication with air traffic controllers, be on a flight plan, and have a discrete transponder code so they can be tracked for security purposes.
To ease operations and communications, Blakey said four new controller positions will be added at the Potomac terminal radar approach control facility.
Blakey said the new ADIZ, which becomes effective Aug. 30, was shaped based on consultations with aviation groups and the 22,000 comments received from the public when the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued two years ago.
The ADIZ was created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 with no public comment. Federal officials have been looking at making the ADIZ permanent through the rulemaking process.
“Lots of unfortunate violations occurred when the first version was put in place,” Blakey said. “When we asked for comments, you told us to simplify the design. You told us that it would need to improve safety. You told us not to reduce security. Score one for GA. You were right on each count.”
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