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Flying into the DC area VFR

Posted By:
Paul Ferrell
#1 Posted: 8/25/2010 18:57:19

    Anyone recommend the best airport to fly VFR into DC?



Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
#2 Posted: 8/26/2010 09:34:44

Depends on where you want to go once on the ground.  Leesburg is accessable with minimum hassle.  Potomac has a reputation of being friendly and welcoming.


Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Ron Natalie
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#3 Posted: 8/26/2010 10:26:19

Potomac, College Park, and Hyde are part of the DC-3 and you can't get in there without being intercepted unless you've been fingerprinted, background checked, and given the secret handshape (which is doable, but you have to do it HERE and IN ADVANCE).

Dulles isn't too bad, if not pricey if you want the most convenience.   Lots of ground transportation operations.

Leesburg as mentioned is just further up the toll road.   It is inside the SFRA so you need to take that course.   Leesburg however does have a little special cut out that lets you in and out VFR without talking to ATC.    Manansas requires full participation in the SFRA, and has commuter rail (though you'll have to check the schedule) into DC   They also have rental cars.

Gaithersburg (also in the SFRA) is a cab ride from to the metro.

Good info on the SFRA is here.


Wayne Bressler
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#4 Posted: 8/27/2010 19:35:16

Remember ALL pilots operating within 60nm of the DCA VOR must take the FAA course on the SFRA/FRZ.  You can find the course on www.faasafety.gov


As for airports, it really depends upon where you want to go.  My personal favorite is Warrenton-Fauquier (KHWY).  It's outside the SFRA, and reasonably close to Rt 66.

Don't be afraid of the SFRA.  Potomac Approach does this everyday, and will get you where you need to go.  Hundreds of pilots operate VFR in and around the SFRA/FRZ on a weekly basis, and you can, too.  Just be sure to get the required training, and ask questions if you're unsure.  A call to Flight Service will also help to answer your questions (1-800-WX-BRIEF).

You can do it! 

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