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[01 Oct 2022 01-05pm ET] Fly-in: Military Airports

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This week's BVA event features a special twist on our normal GA Fly-In series. Join BVA on October 1st from 1-5pm ET for a special military airport focused fly-in event featuring four airports within our airspace with military installations: Westfield - Barnes Regional Airport (KBAF), Westover Air Reserve Base/Metropolitan Airport (KCEF), Portsmouth International At Pease Airport (KPSM), and Schenectady County Airport (KSCH). This is a great opportunity to practice helicopter operations or just go for a scenic flight across the center of our airspace. While you are at it, feel free to dive into the rules and regulations around Special Use Airspace.

It’s also a great time to try out one of our WINGS flights. Remember, many of the flights have published Alternate Airports, allowing you to earn your BVA pilot ratings at event airports!

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How does BVARTCC handle SUA and TFRs? How does VATSIM deal with DC SFRA and FRZ?  


I did a flight today from KIAD to KMTN to KPHL while there were no approach or center controllers on duty. There were SP1s covering Ground at KIAD and KPHL.  On departure from KIAD I heard, "squawk 1200, frequency change to 122.8 approved" as I sailed through the north edge of the FRZ.  Happily, no (XPlane12) F-14s pursued me.

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Good questions @John OConnor


I've not worked ZDC on VATSIM but my understanding is that, when ATC is online, you can realistically simulate operations in the SFRA/FRZ. @Krikor Hajian could probably validate that. 


Regarding Special Use Airspace here, the general rule is that if you wish to simulate it, you can. For various reasons, we tend not to close entire airspaces for things like forest fires or presidential movement that doesn't affect us. However, I'll usually apply the stadium TFR over downtown when it comes up. We also have a dedicated military group that can and does ask for activation of MOAs, etc. from time-to-time, though it's much more rare than is done in real life.



Evan Reiter

Community Director
Administration Team

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Great question John! The current practice at vZDC is to not simulate any specific FRZ/SFRA procedures. The FRZ would be particularly challenging to enforce because very few people would be aware of a PIN and there's essentially zero way to enforce it (unless we set up a fake finger printing/background check system). While the SFRA stuff could be simulated (with departure gates, flight plan requirements and beacon codes), as far as I know it's generally not practiced by their controllers. If you wanted to file a proper flight plan (or as close as you can with VATSIM's limitations) and follow procedures I'm sure their controllers would accommodate.

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