Press Releases

Press Release | May 31, 2013

NORAD helicopter intercepts general aviation aircraft over Washington, D.C.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A Coast Guard helicopter under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted a general aviation aircraft that was out of communications in the Flight Restriction Zone over Washington, D.C., at approximately 9:33 a.m. EDT this morning. 

Once the Cessna aircraft was intercepted and identified, the aircraft landed at Potomac Airfield without further incident. The pilot was directed to contact the Federal Aviation Administration for further direction. 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 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.  


NOTE TO EDITORS: For further information, please contact NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs at (719) 554-6889 or visit our Web sites at or www.northcom.milFollow us on Facebook and Twitter at: and