flying in - what you need to know


The SFRA and FRZ - A short summary

We are within both the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) and the Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) and each has its own set of requirements.  To get to us you need a PIN for the FRZ, but that’s NOT a big deal.  You can complete the process from wherever you are in a week or two if you do everything right (translation: follow instructions!).

The SFRA is essentially everything within 60 NM of the DCA VOR, including the FRZ.  To fly within this airspace, the PIC must:

  1. *   Have completed FAA online SFRA training - available via FAASAFETY.Gov or AOPA

*    Be on a flight plan

  1. *   Be in radio communication with ATC

  2. *   Squawk a discreet beacon code as assigned by ATC

The FRZ is the airspace within roughly 15 NM of the DCA VOR and encompasses us, Potomac Airfield (VKX) and College Park Airport (CGS).  In addition to the requirements for the SFRA (above), the PIC must have a special PIN number which allows you to file into the FRZ.   This is true even if you have an existing DOD, airline or other clearance.   The bottom line is that  this isn’t something you can do over the phone the night before your first excursion into the area.

If you’re only coming here once, then obviously this isn’t the best way for you to go.  If that is the case, or if you need an option in the meantime, the nearest airport to us that is NOT in the FRZ is Maryland Airport (2W5), about 13 miles southwest of us.  Maryland has a 3700’ runway, Avgas and Jet A, and is a long-established family business.  Nice folks.  (SFRA online training from the FAA is still required.)

On the other hand, if your travels bring you to the DC area more often, getting  PIN is going to make a lot of sense and can make your life much easier.   The process isn’t bad; everything you need to do can be completed in one day and complete turnaround is generally less than two weeks.

Thanks to recent changes in the program, you can get a PIN from anywhere.   Please join us - be one of the Privliged Few.  Visit Getting A PIN Number for details on how.