The 3 airports inside the FRZ, college park, Potomac, and Hyde Field, are quite small. I imagine due to the difficulties to get in and low business. Is it worth the vetting process on my next trip to DC to get a PIN? Are the airports outside the FRZ better destinations/amenities anyway? (regardless of how often I visit - its only 20 min difference)
Also, why is KDCA left out of all the documentation? Can a private pilot not fly there? Everything in the FRZ refers to the “Maryland Three”, leaving off the 4th, KDCA. Not my first choice in a destination as a hobby flier, but certainly very close.
For the most part, no. You have to go through the aforementioned vetting process, PLUS jump through additional hoops.
When they reopened the airport to general aviation in 2005, they placed the following restrictions:
Flights can arrive from one of only one dozen specially selected “gateway” airports, all within the continental United States, and only 48 flights will be allowed to arrive or depart each day. With approximately 660 flights coming and going from Reagan National each week in 2001 before general aviation was suspended, the new limit will mean nearly a 50 percent reduction in volume, assuming it operates at full capacity.
The biggest change may be that all planes now are required to fly with an armed security officer on board. The Transportation Security Administration must certify those officers, all of whom must receive special training and be either current or former U.S. law enforcement professionals.
All passengers will be subject to unusually thorough background checks, including fingerprint and criminal checks. In order to facilitate the scrutiny, passenger manifests must be submitted to the Transportation Security Administration at least 24 hours in advance.
The passenger and crew checks are even more exacting, and no last-minute additions or changes to the passenger lists will be allowed.
So, for you to land there, is it worth it? I’m guessing not since most business jets don’t even bother to go there. When “The Big Three” flew to DC for their congressional bail-out hearings, they flew into Dulles.
General Aviation flights into DCA are restricted to Waiver or DC Access Standard Security Program (DASSP) flights. In collaboration with TSA, Signature has close to 50% of its US FBOs approved as gateways into DCA. In addition, Signature Flight Support assists operators with submitting their DASSP applications as well as other FBO operators with their application and certification process. These valuable, complimentary services are available by contacting Mary Miller at Signature’s DCA location at +1 703 417 3542