Air Defense Identification Zone


  • An Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is established to facilitate early identification of aircraft entering designated airspace
  • Depicted as a dotted pattern running along a solid magenta line [Figure 2]
  • An ADIZ can be either coastal or domestic simply depending on where it is located
AeroNav ADIZ Sectional Legend
Figure 1: AeroNav ADIZ Sectional Legend


  • If operating under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), you must file a Defense VFR (DVFR) flight plan with an appropriate Air Traffic Control (ATC) facility, such as a Flight Service Station (FSS), in order to penetrate or operate within an ADIZ
  • Two-way communications and periodical ATC reports of your location while inbound
  • ADIZ Sectional Legend
    Figure 2: ADIZ Sectional Legend
  • A transponder with Mode C or Mode S transponder
    • Balloons, gliders and aircraft not equipped with an engine driven electrical system are excepted from this requirement
  • If operating under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), you do not need to file anything other than an IFR Flight Plan

Coastal Air Defense Identification Zone
Figure 3: Coastal Air Defense Identification Zone

Position Reports:

  • IFR: Normal position reporting
  • DVFR: The estimated time of ADIZ penetration must be filed with the facility at least 15 minutes prior to penetration of the ADIZ except in Alaska which only requires a report prior to entry
  • Over land the tolerance is within ± 5 minutes of penetration or within 10 NM of centerline of intended track
  • Over water the tolerances are the same except 20 NM of centerline of intended track
  • Pilots unable to comply with all requirements shall remain clear of land-based ADIZ
    • Pilots entering a land-based ADIZ without authorization or who fail to follow all requirements risk interception by military aircraft
  • Exceptions:
    • When within 10 NM of the point of departure
    • Within 3 NM of any island in Hawaii
    • Associated with any ADIZ other than the contiguous U.S. ADIZ, when the aircraft True Airspeed (TAS) is less than 180 KIAS

Air Defense Identification Zone Boundaries Designated Mountainous Areas
Figure 4: Air Defense Identification Zone Boundaries Designated Mountainous Areas