There are two rings of airspace around DC from a security standpoint. The first, Flight Restricted Zone or FRZ, is limited to traffic into DCA
, airplanes using the three GA
airports within it, and military traffic. The three airports (called the DC-3) are Potomac, College Park, and Hyde Field.
The FRZ is nominally defined as a 15 mile arc around DCA VOR, though it isn't a perfect circle
Check out AOPA's site for more details about the complex process required to fly into the FRZ: http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/air_traffic/frz.html
has served some limited GA
traffic, but requirements included stopping for an inspection outside the FRZ. I'm not sure what the current status is.
Outside the FRZ is the Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, which falls over dozens of airports. See the chart: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dc_adiz.jpg
The red is the ADIZ, the white center the FRZ.
ADIZ requires a flight plan be filed for IFR or VFR, a transponder with altitude encoding (and a discrete squawk code), contact with ATC, and a lot of patience. The system has so overtaxed Potomac approach it can take half an hour just to get through to them on the phone for a squawk code prior to takeoff.
Some major GA
airports in the ADIZ include Gaithersburg MD
, Tipton (Fort Meade) MD
, Martin State, MD
, Annapolis-Lee, MD
, and Baybridge. I'm not familiar with the Virginia side, but all of these MD
airports were a lot busier before the ADIZ came about. BWI
is also affected (in fact, its bravo defines the dimensions of the eastern half of the ADIZ), but since it see primarily IFR traffic and GA
is limited, its not as big an issue for them as for an all light single and twin airport like Tipton.
[Edited 2006-09-17 21:13:35]