NORAD Fighters Intercept General Aviation Aircraft Over San Jose

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | May 24, 2012

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Military aircraft under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted a general aviation aircraft in the vicinity of San Jose, Calif., today.

The general aviation aircraft, described as a small red experimental plane, was intercepted by two NORAD F-16s at approximately 11a.m. MDT, after it entered a temporary flight restriction area. The aircraft landed without further incident at Watsonville Municipal Airport, near Santa Cruz, Ca.

NORAD's mission – in close collaboration with homeland defense, security, and law enforcement partners – is to prevent air attacks against North America, safeguard the sovereign airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces, and provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America. NORAD may be required to monitor, shadow, divert from flight path, direct to land and/or destroy platforms deemed a potential threat to North America.

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that is responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The command is poised both tactically and strategically in our nation’s capital to provide a multilayered defense to detect, deter and prevent potential threats flying over the airspace of the United States and Canada.