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Level Orange Brings Return of Some Restrictions, But No NYC ADIZ

As expected, three notices to airmen (NOTAMs) were issued Tuesday night effective at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 21, reflecting increased security measures as a result of the raised (orange-high-risk) terrorist threat assessment level announced earlier in the day. First, the gateway airport and screening requirements for the so-called Maryland 3 airports (College Park Airport - CGS; Potomac Airfield - VKX; and Washington Executive/Hyde Field - W32) will be reinstated; All departing aircraft will be required to undergo inspection and passenger verification by TSA staff stationed on the ground. TSA again has designated Tipton (FME), Fort Meade, Maryland, as the gateway airport to inspect passengers and aircraft for arriving flights at the three airports; second, flight waivers for sport stadium over flights will be suspended; and third, several categories of waivers for flight operations in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be suspended.

TSA’s Pam Hamilton said notices to airmen (NOTAMs) for these would be issued late Tuesday, May 20, or early Wednesday. In addition, the notice to airmen (NOTAM) this weekend for the Indy 500 is expected to increase the temporary flight restriction (TFR) from three miles, 3,000 feet to seven miles, 10,000 feet.

Hamilton was quick to point out that, at this time, “There is no reason to think it appropriate to reinstate an ADIZ (Aviation Security Identification Zone) in New York City.” Nor is a TFR for downtown Chicago called for, although she emphasized that could change if intelligence so warrants. Pilots planning to fly anywhere in U.S. national airspace are strongly urged to seek out the latest information regarding airspace restrictions and avoid sensitive areas as outlined in NOTAM 2/5167. Pilots should also be extra vigilant in and around airports and report any suspicious activity or people to the TSA's national General Aviation Security Hotline at 866/GA SECURE (866/427-3287). EAA will provide further information when it becomes available.