- The Washington Times - Friday, July 27, 2007


Restricted airspace map gets simplified

The restricted airspace over the Washington region will be modified next month to make it easier to enforce, the Federal Aviation Administration announced yesterday.

The zone is currently made up of three 60-mile-wide overlapping rings that resemble Mickey Mouse ears on a map. The irregular airspace will be replaced by a 30-nautical-mile-radius restricted area. Pilots flying in the area will be able to use a single navigational aid instead of the four in use today.

The change, which takes effect Aug. 30, also reduces restrictions on general aviation, freeing 33 airports and helipads from the current restrictions in about 1,800 square miles of airspace.

The new measures will make it easier to track authorized flights and identify any aircraft not complying with the rules, FAA officials said. They also are expected to reduce the number of unintentional violations on the outer edges of the zone.

The FAA coordinated the changes with the Homeland Security and Defense departments, which enforce the restrictions.

“Our aim is to balance vigilance with new measures that make it easier to track who belongs in this airspace and who does not,” FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey said.


Powdery substance causes evacuation

A building housing the Washington bureau of ABC News was briefly evacuated yesterday because of a suspicious envelope.

Fire Department spokesman Alan Etter said a small packet was found with a white powdery substance. The substance turned out to be aspirin.

Mr. Etter said people had to leave the downtown Washington building for about 45 minutes.



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