NORAD NEWS

Calibration flights in Washington D.C. area to enhance NORAD response capability

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | April 27, 2012

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, will conduct calibration flights from April 30 - May 11, 2012 over the Washington D.C. area.

The majority of the flights will take place between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EDT. On May 10 and 11, additional flights will take place at night, from midnight to 6 a.m. EDT. Four small radio controlled models and four light sport aircraft - also known as ultra lights - will fly patterns between 150 and 3,000 feet above ground level. The radio controlled models will fly in restricted airspace near Quantico and along the Potomac River. Other fixed wing aircraft will include Falcon Jet, Twin Otter, Cessna, and BD-5 aircraft flying a variety of patterns between 500 and 18,000 feet above ground level.

These flights have been carefully planned, and the FAA will provide flight monitoring and control. The flights are intended to assist in calibration of systems and equipment, and will serve to refine and improve our ability to respond to unknown and potentially threatening aircraft.

NORAD has conducted flights of this nature around the nation’s capital since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.

NORAD is the binational Canadian and American command that provides maritime warning, aerospace warning and aerospace control for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.