In order to fly in to the Washinton DC Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) you need to have a unique PIN code that positively identifies you to the Potomac TRACON when you file a special flight plan (for both IN or OUT, as well as VFR or IFR).
In the last year or so, obtaining a PIN code has become somewhat easier, in that you do not need to be physically present in Washington, or have to circumnavigate the different government agencies and airports. You can be interviewed remotely, as well as more flexible locations for taking your fingerprints.
Being a Canadian living in Ottawa, my process required some travel for the fingerprinting part, however, other than this, you should be able to follow the same procedures.
Check out the Maryland Three MD3 airports’ web pages.
Contact their airport managers. They are very willing to help out.
College Park Airport(CGS) ·
Mr. Lee Sommer, Airport Security Coordinator/Airport Manager
Telephone 301/864-5844; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. David Wartofsky, Airport Security Coordinator/Owner
Telephone 301/248-5720; e-mail email@example.com
Mr. Stan Fetter, Airport Security Coordinator/Airport Manager
Telephone 301/297-7290; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Take the FAA course: https://www.faasafety.gov/gslac/ALC/...g.aspx?cID=405
o This should take no more than 40 minutes.·
o Save the certificate of completion, you will be sending this as part of your electronic document package.
o Good idea to save the kneeboard info as well.
Make a pdf copy of your
o Pilot Certificate (both sides), ·
o medical, and
o government issued photo ID (I used my passport).
Fill out the PIN application TSA Form 418 (red boxes) available here: http://collegeparkairport.aero/MD-3&...pplication.pdf
o The form also your signature and date where hi-lighted in yellow. I had not signed it before sending it out and this ended up causing some delays.·
o Choose one of the three airport check boxes (section 1) and also select Transient. I chose College Park (KCGS) as I will likely be flying more often to/from that airport given my home location and wanting access to the Metro. This form (418) is old, and has not been updated (2012 expiry) so things don’t necessarily jive… stay with me here, keep plugging away.
Email the following forms/copies to MDthree@tsa.dhs.gov
o TSA Form 418 – Maryland Three PIN application* (signed)·
o SFRA Training certificate
o FAA Airman certificate*
o FAA Medical certificate*
o One form of Government-issued picture identification; i.e., driver’s license*
Also, send the above forms/copies to the MD-3 airport you have chosen. They will then get back to you to arrange an interview using Skype or Facetime.
This should be started in parallel to the above steps. The fingerprint collection has been offloaded to a 3rd party. They will also provide services for fingerprinting for an additional fee http://info.natacs.aero/maryland-three-program
If you are not going with the NATACS scanned fingerprinting, see if you can obtain the FBI fingerprint cards (you need two). You can download it as a PDF, however it needs to be on the right type of heavy paper so the ink does not smudge. Here is where you can download the FD-258 if you are willing to risk not using the official fingerprint cards: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/...m-fd-258-1.pdf
I searched around and you can buy these FD-258 cards online but they usually sell a pack and it takes a few days at least to get them delivered. At one point I was wondering if I could commit a petty crime across the border… that would get me fingerprints, but might work against me in the whole process.
I called a local fingerprint outfit in Ottawa to see if they had any FD-258 cards. The Commissionaires will fingerprint you and have those cards, unfortunately the Commissionaires are not a recognized source for fingerprinting. They were however willing to give me a couple of cards, so I just drove over and picked them up the same day. Give them a call and ask nicely… it goes a long way.
I called the Ogdensburg Police and asked if I could get fingerprinted for a background check, cost etc. They said they do it for free, but you need to bring your own FD-258. Got them! An early morning drive to Ogdensburg (60 minutes), 20 minutes at the station (the police officer was very patient and did a great job). Seal them in an envelope and ship both cards out to NATACS in Nevada along with the fingerprint approval form. Note: you must sign the FD-258 in front of the police officer.
You can have NATACS take your fingerprint at approved locations around the world. There are three in Canada I believe. One of them is in Toronto, but the location did not work for me. You pay $69 total, otherwise if you provide your own fingerprints it is something like $29. You need to sign up online and print out the fingerprint information form from them, only obtained when paying up one of the two fees mentioned. Bring those forms with you to the fingerprinting office, and ID (along with FD-258 if you will be going to a local police station).
That’s it. Now wait. In my case it took about 5 business days to get a reply from Department of Homeland Security that they had completed the processing. My problem is that I had not signed the MD-3 application form. I had subsequently signed it and resubmitted it the same day I had emailed my package to them. Things get out of sync, so just have to wait sometimes.
I received the PIN about a week later. The PINs are updated every two to three weeks, on no particular schedule it seems. I got lucky in that I received it just 1 ½ days before departure.
Hope the above helps. The whole thing is not that complicated, and I am grateful that DHS has streamlined the process so that more people can apply without physically going to DC.
Getting the PIN allowed us to do this awesome weekend getaway: http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...d.php?t=150405
Now, how about you guys getting your PINs and we can meet-up to visit the College Park Aviation Museum.