From ADIZ to SFRA: D.C. ADIZ Becomes Permanent

    December 16, 2008 - Perhaps the single most universally opposed flight restriction to ever come down the Beltway was made permanent Monday, when the FAA codified the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) into a special flight rules area (SFRA). EAA and other aviation organizations worked tirelessly to eliminate the DC ADIZ or minimize the impact of these airspace restrictions and other operational limitations on general aviation since the ADIZ was created after 9/11.

    Although GA won isolated concessions over the years, such as a reduction of the awkward “Mickey Mouse” shaped ADIZ boundary to a more manageable 30 nm radius, pressure from national security interests for greater flight restrictions never diminished. No matter how lopsided public opinion proved to be – more than 21,000 public comments opposing the Washington, D.C., ADIZ were submitted, and a series of pubic hearings in the D.C. area reflected that – as an SFRA the ADIZ will become permanent on February 17, 2009.

    “This is a loss for the GA community,” said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government affairs. “Pilots operating in the northeast have had to deal with the ADIZ for a long time even though there has never been an intelligence-based threat assessment to justify it. EAA and the other organizations consistently argued this point, but to no avail.”

    EAA will continue to educate top-level elected and security officials of the true nature of general aviation and press for reasoned and risk-based approaches to security as necessary, Macnair said.

    Pilots who fly within 60 nm of the Washington, DC DCA VOR/DME are reminded that FAR 91.161 requires them to complete “special awareness’’ training developed and provided by the FAA at Also, when the SFRA becomes permanent, the current ADIZ and Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) NOTAM will go away, and this will require pilots to have up-to-date VFR sectionals for that area. A person who knowingly or willfully violates the SFRA may be subject to criminal prosecution.



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