Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
For more information on the rulemaking process or instructions on submitting comments that include national security or sensitive security information, see the
The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. (See also “Sensitive Security Information” below.) We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments.
We will file in the docket all comments we receive, subject to review for national security or sensitive security information as indicated above, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. The docket is available for public inspection before and after the comment closing date. If you wish to review the docket in person, go to the address in the
Privacy Act: Using the search function of our docket Web site, anyone can find and read the comments received into any of our dockets, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the
Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.
If you want the FAA to acknowledge receipt of your comments on this proposal, include with your comments a pre-addressed, stamped postcard on which the docket number appears. We will stamp the date on the postcard and mail it to you.
Do not file in the docket information that you consider to be sensitive security information. Send or deliver this information (identified as docket number FAA-2003-17005) directly to Edith V. Parish, Acting Manager, Airspace and Rules, Office of System Operations and Safety, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 267-8783. You must mark information that you consider security-sensitive.
Under 14 CFR 11.35 (a), we will review comments as we receive them, before they are placed in the docket. If a comment contains sensitive security information, we remove it before placing the comment in the general docket.
You can get an electronic copy using the Internet by:
(1) Searching the Department of Transportation's electronic Docket Management System (DMS) Web page (
(2) Visiting the FAA's Web page at
(3) Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at
You can also get a copy by submitting a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Be sure to identify the docket number, notice number, or amendment number of this rulemaking.
The FAA Administrator has broad authority to regulate the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace (49 U.S.C. 40103). The Administrator is also authorized to issue air traffic rules and regulations to govern the flight of aircraft, the navigation, protection, and identification of aircraft for the protection of persons and property on the ground, and for the efficient use of the navigable airspace. Additionally, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 40103(b)(3) the Administrator has the authority, in consultation with the Secretary of
After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which resulted in the loss of human life at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in southwestern Pennsylvania, the FAA immediately curtailed all aircraft operations within the National Airspace System (NAS), except certain military, law enforcement, and emergency related aircraft operations.
On September 13, 2001, the FAA took action to allow additional aircraft operations in some areas of the NAS. However, the FAA maintained flight restrictions over certain cities and sensitive sites. Even after specific temporary flight restrictions over a particular city or site were rescinded, some flight restrictions were occasionally reinstated in response to specific and general intelligence information regarding terrorist threats. Most of these flight restrictions were issued pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations in 14 CFR 91.139, Emergency Air Traffic Rules; 14 CFR 91.137, Temporary Flight Restrictions in the Vicinity of Disaster/Hazard Areas; or 14 CFR part 99, Security Control of Air Traffic. These flight restrictions were issued via the U.S. Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) System.
While many aspects of the initial flight restrictions were cancelled, in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area the FAA continued to impose several temporary flight restrictions at the request of the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense (DoD) to assist them in their newly assigned counter-terrorism mission.
On February 19, 2002, the FAA issued Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 94, Enhanced Security Procedures for Operations at Certain Airports in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Special Flight Rules Area (67 FR 7538; Feb. 19, 2002). SFAR 94, which expired on February 13, 2005, required any person operating an aircraft to or from College Park Airport, Potomac Airfield, or Washington Executive/Hyde Field to conduct those operations in accordance with security procedures approved by the Administrator. The SFAR was a general operating rule containing both flight communication requirements and airport security requirements. It applied to any person operating an aircraft to or from one of the specified airports and affected all aircraft operations at these airports, including those conducted under 14 CFR part 91, those for which an air carrier or an operating certificate may be issued under 14 CFR part 119 (for operations conducted under 14 CFR part 121 or 135), and those which may be conducted under part 125, 129, 133, or 137.
Procedures addressing airport security previously contained in SFAR 94 are now included in a regulation promulgated on February 10, 2005 by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is now responsible for airport security procedures (70 FR 7150; Feb. 10, 2005). The flight communication requirements are included in this NPRM. They include flight plan filing, two-way radio communication, and transponder requirements.
Because of its status as home to all three branches of the Federal government, as well as numerous Federal buildings, foreign embassies, multi-national institutions, and national monuments, the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area continues to be an obvious high value target for terrorists.
Despite recent successes in the war on terrorism, the DHS believes that the threat of extremists launching an attack using aircraft remains high. Although there is no information suggesting an imminent plan by terrorists to use airplanes to attack targets in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, the success of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon and reports demonstrating terrorist groups' enduring interest in aviation-related attacks indicate the need for continued vigilance in aviation security.
For example, the April 2003 arrest of Waleed bin Attash and the subsequent discovery of a plot to crash an explosive-laden small aircraft into the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan illustrates terrorist groups' continued interest in using aircraft to attack U.S. interests. Other information—such as documents found in Zacarias Moussaoui's possession, which outlined crop duster operations—suggests that terrorist groups may have been considering other domestic aviation attack plans in addition to the September 11, 2001 attacks. As of mid-June 2003, Islamic extremists may have been planning suicide hijackings against government, military, and/or economic targets along the east coast of the United States.
In addition, press reports on the debriefings of detained terrorist leader Khalid Shaykh Muhammad not only hint at the complexity of planning involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks, but also suggest the group was likely planning follow-on operations inside the United States, possibly including inside the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.
While the DHS has no specific information that terrorist groups are currently planning to use general aviation (GA) aircraft to perpetrate attacks against the U.S., it remains concerned that (in light of completed and ongoing security enhancements for commercial aircraft and airports) terrorists may turn to GA as an alternative method for conducting operations.
The DHS believes that Al-Qa'ida is the group most likely to use GA to attack targets in the U.S. Several of its operatives—including some of the September 11 hijackers—have trained on small aircraft. Indeed, according to the testimony before Congress of the then-Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, September 11 mastermind Khalid Shaykh Muhammad originally proposed using multiple small aircraft packed with explosives to conduct the attacks. Usama Bin Laden reportedly suggested the use of larger aircraft instead. Even earlier, Muhammad and Ramzi Yousef—both involved in the 1995 Manila Air plot—considered the notion of crashing an airplane into CIA Headquarters.
• Based on this and other information, the DHS believes that GA aircraft may be vulnerable to targeting by terrorists for misuse.
In February 2003, FAA, in consultation with DHS and other Federal agencies, implemented a system of airspace control measures to protect against a potential threat to the
This airspace structure and associated procedures associated with the ADIZ and FRZ have been in place for about 2 years. The agencies responsible for intercepting intruders within the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area (the DoD and agencies of the DHS) believe that the existing airspace dimensions and procedures are the minimum acceptable to successfully accomplish their missions and should be retained on a permanent basis.
This airspace structure is also an essential component of the DoD and DHS air security plan. The DoD and DHS believe that by establishing a National Defense airspace area over the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, they would have sufficient time to successfully conduct countermeasures to ensure the safety of protectees in the event that a potentially hostile aircraft enters the airspace area.
It is with this in mind that the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security requested that the FAA Administrator take action to codify permanently current aviation flight restrictions over the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area to support their continuing mission to protect national assets in the National Capital Region.
After the events of September 11, 2001, Congress and the President tasked government agencies to increase the protection of the United States and its interests. Congress established the TSA and tasked it with protecting the security of our nation's transportation infrastructure. Additionally, Congress established the Department of Homeland Security, in order to centralize the administration of the country's security efforts.
For the past two years, the FAA has been working closely with the DoD and DHS to draft security contingency plans to protect the American public, national assets, and operations in the National Airspace System. Some of the measures taken by the FAA include additional cockpit security for certain air carrier aircraft and temporary flight restrictions over special events (often at stadiums) that attract large numbers of people and may be seen as potential targets by terrorists.
Since the seat of our nation's government is in Washington, DC, flight restrictions were established immediately after September 11, 2001, and most remain in place. Establishing specific airspace for security reasons in the Washington, DC area is not a new practice. In 1938, by Executive Order 7910, the President reserved and set apart airspace for national defense, the public safety and other governmental purposes. Those airspace reservations were subsequently codified in 14 CFR part 73 as “prohibited areas.” Over the years, the size and dimensions of one of these areas, Prohibited Area 56 (P-56), which is the airspace over and near the White House, has changed in response to world events. In accordance with 14 CFR 73.83, no person may operate an aircraft within a prohibited area unless authorization has been granted by the using agency. The action proposed in this notice does not modify P-56.
The FAA is aware that the flight restrictions imposed over the Washington DC Metropolitan Area have impacted, and will continue to impact some pilots in the area. However, government security officials believe that the proposed DC SFRA would enhance and strengthen the ability of DoD and DHS to protect the President, Cabinet members, the Congress and other assets in the capital region.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the threat of extremists launching an attack using aircraft still exists. Numerous reports continue to be received that demonstrate Al-Qa'ida's enduring interest in aviation-related attacks. Thus, there is a continued need for aviation security vigilance. Intelligence reports indicate that terrorists continue to be interested in using general aviation aircraft as part of another attack on the U.S. or facilitation of activities since general aviation aircraft are readily available and relatively inexpensive. Also, though security measures at general aviation airports have improved, they are less stringent than those in place at many commercial airports. Overall and even though general aviation aircraft are generally smaller than those used in the 9/11 attack, the destructive potential of a small aircraft loaded with explosives may be significant. It should be noted that almost 70% of U.S. general aviation is comprised of aircraft that are relatively small. Aircraft in this segment of the industry range from homebuilt craft to large airliners. In addition, there are thousands of general aviation airports in the United States with varying degrees of security procedures implemented.
We believe that as part of ensuring the security of the people, property and institutions in the Nation's capital, and surrounding area, it is essential to know the intended route of flight of the aircraft, to have the aircraft squawk a discrete transponder code, and to have automatic altitude reporting equipment on board the aircraft that transmits to ATC. Government officials believe that some types of aircraft operations (
By this proposed action the Federal Government would more explicitly classify the airspace over the Washington DC Metropolitan Area (the DC SFRA) as “National Defense Airspace.” Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the rules concerning operations in National Defense Airspace is subject to certain criminal penalties. See 49 U.S.C. 46307. It is hoped that codification of these airspace restrictions and the classification of this airspace as “National Defense Airspace” will reduce, through pilot education, the number of careless and inadvertent encroachments of the airspace by some pilots. Reducing the number of unauthorized airspace penetrations will reduce the number of times that the U.S. Government aircraft have to intercept unauthorized aircraft. The government also believes this rule will reduce the risks that the Government might have to fire on an aircraft that proceeds dangerously close to certain locations in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area.
In addition, in response to Congressional mandate, the Transportation Security Administration issued an interim final rule on July 19, 2005 to restore access to Reagan National Airport for certain aircraft operations (70 FR 41586; July 19, 2005). The rule will become effective on August 18, 2005. The final rule will reflect changes to the airspace restrictions based on that rule, as well as other changes that might result from other unforeseen security concerns.
This section, if adopted, would inform the public that this subpart was issued to enhance security efforts in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area and deter anyone who might use an aircraft for terrorist activity. It would further inform readers that it establishes a National Defense Airspace Area over the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area. This area would be known as the Washington DC Metropolitan Area Special Flight Rules Area, which would be defined in proposed § 93.35. This would include flights in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), which is also defined in proposed § 93.35. This subpart would affect anyone who operates an aircraft in the DC SFRA.
This proposed section informs readers that if they do not comply with this rule or any special security instruction announced by a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that affects this rule, then the government may do any or all of the following:
This proposed section contains definitions applicable to this rule. Specifically, this section provides the definition for the proposed airspace known as the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) and the airspace contained within the Washington DC Metropolitan Area Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ). The SFRA is currently defined by a NOTAM, and known as the Washington DC ADIZ. Both the SFRA airspace and the FRZ airspace (which is part of SFRA airspace) are categorized as “National Defense Airspace.” This proposed section also defines the term “fringe airports” to identify certain airports located near the outer boundary of the SFRA where specific egress-only procedures may be applied.
This proposed section establishes that if you conduct any type of flight in the Washington, DC, SFRA, you will be subject to:
(1) All of the requirements in this part;
(2) All special instructions issued by the FAA in the interest of national security; and
(3) All other FAA requirements in 14 CFR.
Generally, any special instructions would be issued as NOTAMs pursuant to § 99.7 and would be temporary, but could be issued in any manner the FAA considers appropriate.
On February 10, 2003, the FAA issued NOTAM 3/2126 that established the Washington DC Metropolitan Area ADIZ. NOTAM 3/2126 contains flight restrictions and procedures for aircraft operations within the area, including transponder equipment, two-way radio communication and filing a flight plan. In this action we propose to establish an area (Washington DC SFRA) with specific procedures and pilot and equipment requirements. The proposed procedures reflect those currently in place via NOTAM for that airspace currently known as the Washington DC Metropolitan Area Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
This section proposes to codify prohibitions on certain kinds of aircraft operations in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area FRZ. The FRZ evolved from flight restrictions originally imposed by NOTAM on December 19, 2001. On February 10, 2003, the FRZ (which covers approximately a 15 nautical mile radius of the Washington DC VOR/DME) was introduced to describe an area wherein all flight operations conducted under parts 91, 101, 103, 105, 125, 133, 135, and 137 are prohibited unless specifically authorized by the FAA, in consultation with DHS.
This proposed section contains portions of the procedures previously found in SFAR No. 94, and it also contains air traffic procedures that are in place via NOTAM.
SFAR 94 contained both flight communication requirements and airport security requirements. The flight communication requirements are included in this NPRM. They include flight plan filing, two-way radio communication, and transponder requirements. Procedures addressing airport security previously contained in SFAR 94 are now regulated by the TSA. See “Background” above.
This section proposes to permanently codify ingress/egress procedures for certain airports within the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Special Flight Rules Area but not in the FRZ. This proposed section details ingress/egress procedures for pilots operating to/from the Bay Bridge and Kentmorr Airports. Specifically, the procedures would allow aircraft arriving at or departing from either of these airports to operate directly to or from the airport, along a specified route, at a specified altitude, without filing a flight plan or contacting air traffic control, provided they are displaying the appropriate ATC-assigned transponder code (1227 for Bay Bridge Airport and 1233 for Kentmorr Airport).
This section proposes egress-only procedures for those pilots departing the Airlie, Albrecht, Harris, Martin, Martin State, Meadows, Mylander, Stewart, St. John, Tilghman Whipp, Upperville, and Wolf airports. Pilots departing from these airports would display ATC transponder code 1205 and monitor the appropriate ATC frequency for the area. They would be expected to exit the SFRA by the most direct route. Also, these pilots would not have to establish two-way communications with ATC unless requested, and would not have to file a flight plan.
It should be noted that these procedures are being proposed to provide relief to certain pilot operations in the SFRA. Any pilot deviating from these procedures will trigger a U.S. government response.
This section proposes to prohibit any person from operating an aircraft at the three subject Maryland airports unless those airports have a TSA-approved airport security program.
This proposal contains the following new information collection requirements. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), the FAA has submitted the information requirements associated with this proposal to the Office of Management and Budget for its review. This information is currently being collected under the NOTAM issued pursuant to 14 CFR 99.7.
• For the airports impacted by SFAR 94, the FAA estimates that it would take 1,497.50 hours to process flight plans, costing $47,111 annually.
• For the other airports affected by this rulemaking, the FAA estimates that it would take 6,466.28 hours to process the additional flight plans, costing $203,429 annually.
The regulation would increase paperwork for the Federal government, as there would be an additional air traffic burden dealing with pilot deviations, tracks of interest, and litigation, taking an average of 129,197.33 hours, costing $10,913,253 annually. In addition, FAA employees would have to process the additional flight plans; for the airports impacted by SFAR 94, this would take 1,497.50 hours, costing $70,847, and for all other airports in the SFRA, this would take 6,466.28 hours, costing $203,429 annually. The total impact on the Federal government would be 137,161.10 hours, costing $11,187,529 annually.
The agency is soliciting comments to—
(1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
(2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden;
(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Individuals and organizations may submit comments on the information collection requirement by October 3, 2005, and should direct them to the address listed in the
According to the 1995 amendments to the Paperwork Reduction Act (5 CFR 1320.8(b)(2)(vi)), an agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this information collection will be published in the
In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices that correspond to these proposed regulations.
Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 directs that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. 2531-2533) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, this Trade Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, to be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a
In conducting these analyses, the FAA has determined this proposed rule: (1) Would have benefits that justify its costs, is a “significant regulatory action” as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and is “significant” as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (2) may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; (3) would have no affect on international trade; and does not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector. These analyses, available in the docket, are summarized below.
All aircraft would have to be transponder equipped when entering the proposed DC SFRA and maintain two-way communications while flying in the proposed area. Pilots operating in accordance with visual flight rules (VFR) would have to file flight plans to fly within the proposed DC SFRA.
There are approximately 150 airports in the proposed DC ADIZ. Given the additional requirements that general aviation pilots face, the FAA is concerned that many of these airports would have fewer operations. In some cases, some of these pilots may elect to use alternate nearby airports outside of the proposed DC SFRA.
The FAA has experienced additional burdens in maintaining the requested security requirements within the DC ADIZ/FRZ since September 11, 2001. In particular, this includes additional work for the air traffic control facilities of Potomac Consolidated Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) and Leesburg Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) as well as adjacent air traffic control towers and AFSS's.
One of the airports affected by the flight restrictions imposed since September 11, 2001 is the College Park Airport. This airport is owned and partially funded by two Maryland Counties, Montgomery and Prince George's.
In this analysis, the FAA estimated future costs for a 10-year period, from 2004 through 2013. As required by the Office of Management and Budget, the present value of this stream of costs was calculated using a discount factor of 7 percent. All costs in this analysis are in 2002 dollars.
The analysis examined costs associated with the proposed DC SFRA.
The FAA calculated the number of additional air traffic staff by looking at air traffic controller availability during the average workweek and during the year. Staffing demands in the future are calculated by using annual growth rates of 1.2% for the TRACONs and 0.5% for the AFSSs. In addition, personnel compensation and benefits for a certified professional controller are estimated at $140,000 and for an automated flight service station specialist are estimated at $90,000.
For the three airports impacted by the former SFAR 94, the FAA also used the following assumptions:
• The cost of either a pilot's or an aircraft occupant's time is $31.46 per hour.
• The per hour cost of operating a piston driven, four seat aircraft is $64.75.
• The average load factor for a four seat aircraft is 43.7 percent or 1.75 occupants.
• An airport manager's hourly wage, based on each airport's actual cost and revenue streams, is $45 per hour at College Park, $42 per hour at Potomac, and $40 per hour at Washington Executive/Hyde.
• To account for financial losses not explicitly captured by the analysis, twenty percent of lost revenue is added to the estimated cost of operational restrictions for all three airports.
• To compensate for the lack of financial data for Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field, the average estimated cost of certain operational restrictions for the two other airports (College Park and Potomac) is used to estimate the revenue losses.
• The data for the days that each airport was open and operating in 2002 was annualized to help estimate total operations and revenues. This data summed to about 6
• Hourly costs to the Federal Government include airport inspector (FG-14, $56.48) and flight service station specialist ($47.37) and to the state government law enforcement agency employee ($47.80).
• Revenue is used as the financial indicator of economic costs in lieu of unavailable data on lost profits.
• Local purchases include procurements made by the airport and its tenants and airport sales to tenants, visitors, and local organizations.
• For ground delays, the hourly value of passenger time per operation is $55.06. The average ground delay varied per airport.
• For in-flight delays, the hourly cost of an in-flight delay is $119.81. The average flight delay varied per airport.
In addition, the FAA made the following assumptions concerning the number of operations and revenue at these three airports:
• The number of operations, which was annualized from 2002 data, would remain constant at all three airports for the ten years examined by this analysis. In a recent Interim Final Rule, the TSA has allowed transient operations into these airports. However, FAA does not know how many additional aircraft will fly into or out of these airports. Unless a pilot plans on using one of these airports on a regular basis, they probably would not want to go through the vetting process. Thus, the FAA believes that the number of additional new operations would be minimal.
• Given the additional security vetting required by TSA, the FAA believes that these pilots who fly into any of these three airports would do so only if they believe that it is to their advantage to do so. In other words, the FAA recognizes that these pilots would enjoy an unquantifiable benefit.
• The FAA does not believe that the recent TSA rule would increase the total number of flights within the SFRA. So while the actual number of flights to the Maryland-3 and to the other airports within the SFRA may change, the total number of flights within the SFRA would not. While the costs estimated and projected for the Maryland-3 and the other airports may change, the total costs related to these operations within the SFRA (in-flight delays, on-the-ground delays, and flight plan processing) would not change.
• Annual revenue, which was also annualized from 2002 data, would remain constant at all three airports for the ten years examined by this analysis. The FAA recognizes that additional transient flights have the potential to boost revenue to each airport, but believes that any potential increase would be small.
• The FAA assumes that the additional number of flight plans filed in 2004 would be 123,800, growing to 135,000 in 2013; these numbers are net of those needed to be filed for the three airports impacted by the former SFAR 94.
• As above, for ground delays, the hourly value of passenger time per operation is $55.06, while for in-flight delays; the hourly cost per operation is $119.81.
This proposed rule is intended to enhance DoD/DHS security measures to deter airborne terrorist attacks. The primary benefit of the proposal would be enhanced protection for a significant number of government assets and infrastructure in the National Capital Region. The security provisions and flight restrictions contained in this rule are an integral part of the effort to identify and defeat the threat posed by terrorists.
Given the myriad of possible scenarios, the cost of an act of terrorism against a nationally prominent target or critical government infrastructure is extremely difficult to quantify. They can include areas such as the direct and indirect costs of the September 11 attacks as well as a reduction in D.C. tourism. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, many of the specifics of these effects will not be discussed in this document. However, the FAA acknowledges that these costs would be very high.
The FAA acknowledges that there would be non-quantifiable benefits. The separation of air traffic is predicated on knowing the intentions of aircraft operating within the controller's airspace. The proposed DC SFRA would require two way communication, flight plans and operable transponders for pilots to operate in the area. This would allow the government to know the pilots' intentions, to monitor the aircraft altitude, and to communicate with each pilot. Knowing this information would enhance safety and security.
In addition, the FAA believes that this rule will reduce the number of times that the U.S. Government might have to intercept unauthorized aircraft. The current restrictions are contained in NOTAMs, which are not as widely disseminated or understood as Federal regulations. As the public becomes more aware of these airspace restrictions, the FAA believes the number of careless and inadvertent encroachments of the airspace will be reduced. The FAA does not have any data on the possible reduction in the number of times that the U.S. Government might have to intercept unauthorized aircraft, but believes that a better educated flying public would make fewer critical flying errors.
The analysis examined costs associated with the proposed DC SFRA.
The FAA has borne additional burdens in maintaining the requested airspace restrictions within the existing Washington, DC ADIZ/FRZ. To calculate the costs associated with the proposed DC SFRA, the FAA made a comparison using the baseline months of July 2001, 2002, and 2003. Based on the additional workload for 2003, controller staffing has been increased; total increased staffing costs, over ten years, sum to $62.12 million ($43.83 million, discounted). The total number of controllers would increase from 39 in 2004 to 43 in 2013.
There are other costs due to additional activities, all centered at the Potomac TRACON. These other costs include additional pilot deviations, additional tracks of interest, increased litigation, and costs associated with creating and operating a National Security Special Operations Unit. This increased workload sums to $122.15 million ($71.28 million, discounted) over ten years.
Total ten-year costs, to handle the additional air traffic burden, sum to $184.27 million ($128.70 million, discounted).
SFAR 94, enacted February 13, 2002, authorized general aviation operations at College Park Airport, Potomac Airfield, and Washington Hyde Field, provided that stringent requirements were met. In February 2003, the FAA, in concert with TSA, extended the SFAR 94 for an additional two years. In February 2005, TSA extended the security aspects of these procedures under 49 CFR part 1562; the airspace restrictions and communications provisions in NOTAM 3/0853 remain under FAA authority. This rulemaking would codify these airspace restrictions and communications provisions.
The FAA was able to obtain limited historical financial and operational data for College Park and Potomac Field Airports for part of their first year under the SFAR. Additional data restrictions, however, limited the analysis of the rule's impact on the Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field. Thus, the FAA was required to make additional assumptions in doing the analysis for this airport.
The College Park Airport opened in 1909 and is the oldest continuously operating airport in the world. With the exception of about 100 annual air taxi operations, the College Park Airport serves private pilots who use their aircraft for pleasure and business. The estimate of annual losses to College Park Airport associated with complying with the current DC ADIZ/FRZ operational restrictions is $1.62 million. This annualized revenue loss has been increased by a factor of 20% to account for revenue losses not included in the analysis. The annual airspace restriction costs to the pilots using the College Park Airport sum to $171,900 and are based on the ground and in-flight delays as well as the time to file flight plans. Complying with the airspace and communication requirements in the proposed DC SFRA would cost the College Park Airport an estimated $1.80 million annually.
The Potomac Airfield is a small privately owned airport located in Fort Washington, Maryland. Based on information from the first 8 months of 2002, and assuming that these revenues derived during the period stay the same, the FAA estimates the revenue loss to be $1.36 million. This annualized revenue loss has been increased by a factor of 20% to account for revenue losses not included in the analysis. Thus the FAA estimates annual losses of $1.63 million for the time examined by this analysis. The annual airspace restriction costs to the pilots using the Potomac Airfield Airport sum to $368,500 and are based on the ground and in-flight delays as well as the time to file flight plans. Complying with the requirements in the proposed DC SFRA would cost the Potomac Airfield Airport an estimated $2.00 million annually.
Washington Executive/Hyde Field Airport is a small privately owned airport located in Clinton, Maryland. The airport largely serves the needs of private pilots who occasionally fly for business reasons. This airport was closed longer than the other two; operations resumed at Hyde Field on March 2, 2002. However, on May 17, 2002, the airport was closed again
The annual airspace restriction costs to the pilots using the Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field sum to $596,500 and are based on the ground and in-flight delays as well as the time to file flight plans. Complying with the requirements in the proposed DC SFRA would cost the Washington Executive/Hyde Field Airport an estimated $2.19 million annually.
Flight service station specialists would need to process the flight plans; annual costs sum to approximately $70,800. Annual costs for the ten-year extension of the provisions of the proposed DC SFRA sum to $6.06 million. Over ten years, these costs sum to $60.64 million ($42.59, discounted).
There are approximately 150 airports/heliports within the proposed DC SFRA. The costs for three of these airports (College Park, Potomac, and Washington Executive/Hyde) have already been discussed above. However, there are additional costs, both for pilots and airports within the proposed DC SFRA.
• The total number of additional flight plans,
• The filing time due to ground and in-flight delays and related costs, and
• The net results of pilots circumventing the DC SFRA.
The FAA requests that all comments be accompanied by documentation.
Total quantifiable costs sum to $296.60 million ($207.41 million, discounted) over ten years.
For this proposed rule, the small entity group is considered to be small general aviation airports (North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] 488119—Airport Operations and Terminal Services). The small entity size standards criteria involving airports defines a small airport as one that is independently owned with annual revenues of less than $5 million or owned by a small governmental jurisdiction with a population less than 50,000. In addition, all privately owned, public-use airports are considered small. All the small airports, both public-use and private-use, in the proposed Washington, DC SFRA need to be examined in this regulatory flexibility analysis.
The FAA only has revenue (both pre- and post-DC ADIZ) and compliance cost data for the three airports within the FRZ, and so can only do a regulatory flexibility analysis on these airports, based on the effects of the SFRA. Because the proposal would have a significant impact on two of the three airports impacted by the former SFAR 94 that would trigger the need for a regulatory flexibility analysis if the proposed rule were only dealing with the former SFAR 94 and the current combination of TSA's 49 CFR part 1562 and FAA's NOTAM 3/0853. However, there are approximately 150 airports within the SFRA that are affected by other provisions of the proposed rule, and the FAA does not know if these other provisions would have a significant impact on a substantial number of all those airports. Accordingly, the FAA prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis, as it believes it important to show the potential impact on these entities for the sake of completeness and to engender comments.
Hence, the focus of the following analysis will not be the proposed rule, but rather, a subsection of the proposed rule—the impact of the former SFAR 94. The FAA requests comments containing revenue (both pre- and post-DC ADIZ) and compliance cost data for these other airports within the existing Washington, DC SFRA/FRZ as well as any other pertinent information of the potential burden of this proposal on small airports. The FAA requests that such data be accompanied with full documentation.
As discussed above, three airports are directly affected. The College Park Airport is owned and partially funded by two Maryland Counties, Montgomery and Prince George's. The 2000 census discloses that the combined population of the two counties is approximately 1.7 million. As such, the College Park Airport is not a small entity. Both the Potomac Airfield Airport and Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field are privately owned and considered small in this analysis.
Small general aviation airports are not required to have security programs; only those airports that have scheduled service are required to have such a program. Air carrier airports are funded from tax revenues and generally have greater aviation traffic activity than general aviation airports and airports without scheduled service. By and large, Potomac Airfield and Hyde Field are not supported from tax revenues, as the revenues that sustain the two airports are derived solely from the pilots who use the airports; however, these airports received Airport Improvement Project (AIP) funds for the costs of operating and for security enhancements due to the special provisions in the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA). The provision lasted for one year, in 2002. Potomac Airfield Airport received about $150,100, while Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field received $342,300. Neither airport can count on these AIP funds to sustain them in the future.
The estimated annual cost of compliance, based on known costs and revenues for the Washington Executive Airport is $291,600 and the burden on the Potomac Airfield Airport is $221,400; they increase to $334,000 and
Under section 603 (b) of the RFA (as amended), each regulatory flexibility analysis is required to address the following points: (1) Reasons the FAA considered the rule, (2) the objectives and legal basis of the rule, (3) the kind and number of small entities to which the rule will apply, (4) the reporting, record keeping, and other compliance requirements of the rule, and (5) all Federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the rule. The FAA will perform an analysis for the two small airports impacted by this rule, because the rule will make SFAR 94 permanent.
The decrease in operations corresponds directly to the decline in working capital at the airports. Working capital is defined as the excess of current assets over current liabilities. The financial strength and viability of a business entity is substantially influenced by its working capital position and its ability to meet its short-term liabilities. As fixed-base operators and pilots have relocated to other airfields, revenues have continued to decline. Besides laying off staff, without other sources of revenue, the airports are unable to implement offsetting cost-saving efficiencies that could ameliorate the loss of income.
At this time, there is no comprehensive source of information available that would account for a total financial picture of these airports. There is also no information about the airports' ability to obtain credit. The only evidence is limited to the fact that the airport and its tenants generated revenues in previous years and were able to pay their taxes. As such, it can be assumed that these small entities were generating sufficient revenues to meet tax and other obligations; however, the costs of complying with the former SFAR 94 are very high relative to the current revenues reported by the airports. As discussed for both airports, the security costs alone are more than 20% of the projected revenues, $63,800 out of total airport revenue of $259,000 at Potomac and $79,500 out of total airport revenue of $291,300 at Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field.
The financial impact of the flight restrictions in place before the effective date of the former SFAR 94 is significant relative to the size of these airports. The reopening of the airports has not improved the financial posture of the airports. The May 17, 2002, temporary closing again of Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field imperiled the survival of this airport. The complex and burdensome flight restrictions now in place have caused private pilots to relocate to other airports. On the basis of the above, the FAA considers that the rule impacts the viability of the affected airports. Even with the potential for an increase in revenue as a result of transient operations, the FAA still considers that the rule would impact the viability of the affected airports.