NORAD fighters respond to air space violation
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Two F-16 fighters under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted a small Cessna aircraft in the National Capital Region Air Defense Identification Zone today at approximately 12:30 p.m. EST.
The civilian aircraft entered the ADIZ from the north and was headed south. After the intercept, the pilot re-established communications with local FAA air traffic controllers and vacated the ADIZ heading west. As instructed by the air traffic controllers, the pilot then landed at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md.
The fighters did not expend any flares during the intercept and returned to base after the civilian aircraft landed.
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 Winnepeg, 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.