Press Releases

NORAD controlled helicopter responds to a general aviation aircraft near Washington, D.C.

Release No: UNRELEASED June 26, 2013 PRINT | E-MAIL

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A U.S. Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command responded to a general aviation aircraft operating in the flight restricted area of the National Capital Region, shortly after 9 p.m. EDT, June 25.

The NORAD controlled helicopter was directed to intercept the aircraft which landed at Potomac Airfield at the time of the intercept. 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.