GA BANNED FROM WASHINGTON DC FOR INAUGURATION
For eight hours on inauguration day, Washington, D.C., and the skies for miles around it, will be completely off limits to general aviation. Similarly, the streets of the nation’s capital will be closed to vehicular traffic. Security officials have declared that President Bush’s inauguration on January 20 is a “national security event” and the FAA, responding to orders from the Defense and Homeland Security departments, has issued a flight advisory prohibiting all general aviation VFR (and most IFR) flight within or above the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). “This is yet another example of GA being made a scapegoat in the name of security,” said AOPA President Phil Boyer. “All the evidence shows that GA aircraft do not pose a significant security threat?especially when compared to the devastation an airliner could cause. Yet the airlines are allowed to fly freely while GA pilots are essentially grounded.” AOPA is not alone in questioning the over-the-top security measures surrounding the coming inauguration. Washington Mayor Anthony Williams has complained that checkpoints and street closures are excessive, snarling traffic, damaging businesses, impacting tourism, and choking commerce in the capital city. Source: AOPA Online.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Jack Kenton CPA VP Region 4FAA Flight Standards
The following is a response from a manager at FAA Headquarters — when asked about the future of the ADIZ around Washington, D.C. “Don’t believe the ADIZ will be lifted, in fact there is rulemaking under way to make it permanent. When the rule is issued it may not be as onerous as now.”
For those that listen to what the media shows of courtroom action, this could be worrying to us out here. The reason is the word “PRECEDENT”. Once the ADIZ idea is accepted as normal for Washington, D.C., you can expect that the mayors of New York City and Chicago will want one. After that, every major population center will begin asking. California? Well, we have San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles with Terminal Area Charts because of the complicated airspace. The complicated airspace is there because these are major population centers.