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Air Defense Identification Zone

Introduction:

  • Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) are established in the vicinity of U.S. and international airspace boundaries to facilitate early identification of aircraft for national security interests
  • The different types of ADIZ are areas of airspace over land or water (domestic/coastal), extends upward from the surface, within which the ready identification, the location, and the control of aircraft are required
  • ADIZ dimensions are depicted on aeronautical charts for easy of identification
  • Operations are permitted within these areas provided certain requirements are met (with some exception)
  • The location and operations within this airspace must be understood as violations can result in consequences for the pilot
AeroNav ADIZ Sectional Legend
Figure 1: AeroNav ADIZ Sectional Legend

National Security:

  • All aircraft entering domestic U.S. airspace from points outside must provide for identification prior to entry
  • National security in the control of air traffic is governed by 14 CFR Part 99
  • Except when applicable under 14 CFR Section 99.7, 14 CFR Part 99 does not apply to aircraft operations:
    • Within the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, or within the State of Alaska, and remains within 10 miles of the point of departure;
    • Over any island, or within three nautical miles of the coastline of any island, in the Hawaii ADIZ; or
    • Associated with any ADIZ other than the Contiguous U.S. ADIZ, when the aircraft true airspeed is less than 180 knots
  • Authorizations to deviate from the requirements of Part 99 may also be granted by the ARTCC, on a local basis, for some operations associated with an ADIZ
  • An air filed VFR Flight Plan makes an aircraft subject to interception for positive identification when entering an ADIZ. Pilots are, therefore, urged to file the required DVFR flight plan either in person or by telephone prior to departure
  • Special Security Instructions:
    • Each person operating an aircraft in an ADIZ or Defense Area must, in addition to the applicable rules of part 99, comply with special security instructions issued by the Administrator in the interest of national security, pursuant to agreement between the FAA and the Department of Defense, or between the FAA and a U.S. Federal security or intelligence agency
    • Defense Area means any airspace of the contiguous United States that is not an ADIZ in which the control of aircraft is required for reasons of national security
  • Emergency Security Control of Air Traffic (ESCAT)
    • During defense emergency or air defense emergency conditions, additional special security instructions may be issued in accordance with 32 CFR 245 Plan for the Emergency Security Control of Air Traffic (ESCAT)
    • Under the provisions of 32 CFR 245, the military will direct the action to be taken in regard to landing, grounding, diversion, or dispersal of aircraft and the control of air navigation aids in the defense of the U.S. during emergency conditions
    • At the time a portion or all of ESCAT is implemented, ATC facilities will broadcast appropriate instructions received from the Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) over available ATC frequencies. Depending on instructions received from the ATCSCC, VFR flights may be directed to land at the nearest available airport, and IFR flights will be expected to proceed as directed by ATC
    • Pilots on the ground may be required to file a flight plan and obtain an approval (through FAA) prior to conducting flight operation
    • In view of the above, all pilots should monitor an ATC or FSS frequency at all times while conducting flight operations

Types of Air Defense Identification Zones:

  • There are several types of Air Defense Identification Zones
  • Their names generally explain the purpose of the particular ADIZ however, its more important you recognize them all as general subsets of the important category that is an ADIZ
  • Domestic Air Defense Identification Zone:

    • An ADIZ within the United States along an international boundary of the United States
  • Coastal Air Defense Identification Zone:

    • An ADIZ over the coastal waters of the United States
  • Distant Early Warning Identification Zone (DEWIZ):

    • An ADIZ over the coastal waters of the State of Alaska
  • Land−Based Air Defense Identification Zone:

    • An ADIZ over U.S. metropolitan areas, which is activated and deactivated as needed, with dimensions, activation dates and other relevant information disseminated via NOTAM

ADIZ Dimensions:

  • ADIZ Dimensions can be determine by visually looking at a map, but more precisely, by referencing FAR 99 Subpart B [Figure 2]

ADIZ Depiction:

ADIZ Sectional Legend
Figure 2: ADIZ Sectional Legend

ADIZ Operational Requirements:

  • Flight Plan:

    • Except as outlined below operations into, within, or from a departure point within an ADIZ require the person files, activates, and closes a flight plan with the appropriate aeronautical facility (FSS)
    • Unless ATC authorizes an abbreviated flight plan:
      • A flight plan for IFR flight must contain the information specified in FAR 91.169; and
      • A flight plan for Defense Visual Flight Rules (DVFR) flight must contain the information specified in FAR 91.153(a) (1) through (6)
      • If airport of departure is within the Alaskan ADIZ and there is no facility for filing a flight plan then:
        • The flight plan must be filed before departure except for operations associated with the Alaskan ADIZ when the airport of departure has no facility for filing a flight plan, in which case the flight plan may be filed immediately after takeoff or when within range of the aeronautical facility
    • 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
    • No person may operate an aircraft into, within, or whose departure point is within an ADIZ unless:
      • The person files a DVFR flight plan containing the time and point of ADIZ penetration, and
      • The aircraft departs within five minutes of the estimated departure time contained in the flight plan
    • ICAO VFR flight plans must include in the transmitted line 18 "other information" section: DVFR/estimated United States ADIZ penetration at time (UTC) and estimated point of penetration (latitude/longitude or fix-radial-distance)
  • Two-way Radio:

    • A person who operates a civil aircraft into an ADIZ must have a functioning two-way radio, and the pilot must maintain a continuous listening watch on the appropriate aeronautical facility's frequency
      • The appropriate aeronautical facility can be found by finding the ARTCC frequency for the area you're operating on any aeronautical chart
    • If the pilot operating an aircraft under DVFR in an ADIZ cannot maintain two-way radio communications, the pilot may proceed, in accordance with original DVFR flight plan, or land as soon as practicable
      • The pilot must report the radio failure to an appropriate aeronautical facility as soon as possible
    • If a pilot operating an aircraft under IFR in an ADIZ cannot maintain two-way radio communications, the pilot must proceed in accordance with FAR 91.185 of this chapter
  • Transponder Requirements:

    • Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, each aircraft conducting operations into, within, or across the Contiguous U.S. ADIZ must be equipped with an operable radar beacon transponder and automatic pressure altitude reporting equipment having altitude reporting capability (Mode C), that automatically replies to interrogations by transmitting pressure altitude information in 100-foot increments and that transponder must be turned on and set to reply on the appropriate code or as assigned by ATC
      • Balloons, gliders and aircraft not equipped with an engine driven electrical system are excepted from this requirement
    • Normal squawk code for VFR flight will remain at 1200, unless otherwise assigned
  • Position Reporting:

    • IFR flight:

    • For DVFR flights:

      • The pilot reports to an appropriate aeronautical facility before penetration: the time, position, and altitude at which the aircraft passed the last reporting point before penetration and the estimated time of arrival over the next appropriate reporting point along the flight route;
      • If there is no appropriate reporting point along the flight route, the pilot reports at least 15 minutes before penetration: the estimated time, position, and altitude at which the pilot will penetrate; or
      • If the departure airport is within an ADIZ or so close to the ADIZ boundary that it prevents the pilot from complying with paragraphs (b)(1) or (2) of this section, the pilot must report immediately after departure: the time of departure, the altitude, and the estimated time of arrival over the first reporting point along the flight route
    • For inbound aircraft of foreign registry. The pilot must report to the aeronautical facility at least one hour prior to ADIZ penetration
  • Aircraft Position Tolerances:

    • Over land, the tolerance is within plus or minus five minutes from the estimated time over a reporting point or point of penetration and within 10 NM from the centerline of an intended track over an estimated reporting point or penetration point
    • Over water, the tolerance is plus or minus five minutes from the estimated time over a reporting point or point of penetration and within 20 NM from the centerline of the intended track over an estimated reporting point or point of penetration (to include the Aleutian Islands)
  • Land−Based ADIZ:

    • Land−Based ADIZ are activated and deactivated over U.S. metropolitan areas as needed, with dimensions, activation dates and other relevant information disseminated via NOTAM
      • In addition to requirements outlined in subparagraphs c1 through c3, pilots operating within a Land−Based ADIZ must report landing or leaving the Land−Based ADIZ if flying too low for radar coverage
      • Pilots unable to comply with all requirements must 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 fighter aircraft
  • 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

Exceptions:

  • Except when applicable under 14 CFR Section 99.7, 14 CFR Part 99 does not apply to aircraft operations:
    • Within the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, or within the State of Alaska, and remains within 10 miles of the point of departure;
    • Operating at true airspeed of less than 180 knots in the Hawaii ADIZ or over any island, or within 12 nautical miles of the coastline of any island, in the Hawaii ADIZ
    • Operating at true airspeed of less than 180 knots in the Alaska ADIZ while the pilot maintains a continuous listening watch on the appropriate frequency; or
    • Operating at true airspeed of less than 180 knots in the Guam ADIZ
  • Authorizations to deviate from the requirements of Part 99 may also be granted by the ARTCC, on a local basis, for some operations associated with an ADIZ
  • An airfiled VFR Flight Plan makes an aircraft subject to interception for positive identification when entering an ADIZ. Pilots are, therefore, urged to file the required DVFR flight plan either in person or by telephone prior to departure
  • Special Security Instructions:
    • During defense emergency or air defense emergency conditions, additional special security instructions may be issued in accordance with the Emergency Security Control of Air Traffic (ESCAT) Plan
    • Under the provisions of the ESCAT Plan, the military will direct the action to be taken in regard to landing, grounding, diversion, or dispersal of aircraft and the control of air navigation aids in the defense of the U.S. during emergency conditions
    • At the time a portion or all of ESCAT is implemented, ATC facilities will broadcast appropriate instructions received from theAir Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) over available ATC frequencies. Depending on instructions received from the ATCSCC, VFR flights may be directed to land at the nearest available airport, and IFR flights will be expected to proceed as directed by ATC
    • Pilots on the ground may be required to file a flight plan and obtain an approval (through FAA) prior to conducting flight operation
    • In view of the above, all pilots should guard an ATC or FSS frequency at all times while conducting flight operations
  • An FAA ATC center may exempt the following operations from this subpart (except §99.7) on a local basis only, with the concurrence of the U.S. military commanders concerned, or pursuant to an agreement with a U.S. Federal security or intelligence agency:
    • Aircraft operations that are conducted wholly within the boundaries of an ADIZ and are not currently significant to the air defense system
    • Aircraft operations conducted in accordance with special procedures prescribed by a U.S. military authority, or a U.S. Federal security or intelligence agency concerned
Air Defense Identification Zone Boundaries Designated Mountainous Areas
Figure 4: Air Defense Identification Zone Boundaries Designated Mountainous Areas

Violation of ADIZ Airspace:

Advance Passenger Information System (APIS):

  • The Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) is a Web-based interface designed by CBP, for international travel into and out of the U.S. See the CBP online web-based training for additional information
  • The main objective of this program is to obtain a passenger and crew manifest for every aircraft entering or departing the U.S.
  • The information must be received by the CBP no less than 60 minutes prior to takeoff for flights departing from or arriving in the U.S.
  • APIS will take the place of Customs Form 708; however, revenue flights are required to fill out Form 7507 (General Declaration). Each person on an inbound flight will have to submit Form 6059B (individual declaration card)
  • The U.S. CBP Guide for Private Flyers (PDF) is available online. It contains information on current CBP policies, regulations, and requirements as well as links to pertinent information for the international pilot

Conclusion:

  • Pilots of aircraft entering the United States through an ADIZ are required to comply with the provisions of 14 CFR Sections 99.17 and 99.19
  • Note that ADIZ locations and operating and flight plan requirements for civil aircraft operations are specified in 14 CFR Part 99
  • See Aeronautical Information Manual (5-6-1) National Security for more information
  • Never forget to check NOTAMS, more specifically, international NOTAMS
  • And finally as always, don't forget to close any flight plan you open!

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