Do Your Homework Before You Fly

Several bills have been tabled in recent weeks calling for fines (ranging into six figures and certificate suspensions as long as seven years) for anyone busting the various restricted areas around D.C. FAA Administrator, Marion Blakey told AVweb she understands the concern of lawmakers who’ve been evacuated twice in recent months because pilots ignorant of the rules (or their location) have flown into the restricted areas. Blakey said even the majority of congressmen understand that all incursions to date have been errors. “Congress has taken a very reasonable approach,” she said. However, the current situation can’t go on and she said training is the answer. So … the FAA intends to issue a new rule within 30 days that would require all pilots who fly within 100 miles of D.C. to pass an FAA training course about the restricted airspace. The uneducated should expect consequences. “We are willing to get people’s attention [with] stepped up civil penalties,” Blakey said. “Education is at the heart of it.” But if errant pilots don’t learn their lessons that way, the FAA is apparently willing to encourage them. “I’m sorry it’s come to this,” Blakey said, but added that FAA will make it as painless as possible — referring to the mandatory training. Pilots can complete an FAA or AOPA safety seminar or take an online course to get their certification.
Source: AVweb