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Press Releases

Press Release | April 7, 2014

NORAD jets intercept general aviation aircraft over Washington, D.C.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Two F-16 fighter jets under the direction of the North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted a general aviation aircraft at approximately 12:30 p.m. EST today, Apr. 6, 2014, that was out of communications in the Special Flight Rules Area over Washington, D.C.

The aircraft was out of communications, but was exiting the restricted flight area when the NORAD jets intercepted and visually identified the aircraft. Shortly thereafter, the general aviation aircraft resumed communications with air traffic control.

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 airspace of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within this airspace, 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 multi-layered defense to detect, deter and prevent potential threats flying over the airspace of the United States and Canada.