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NOT AGAIN... USCG Helo Intercepts C-172 In DC Airspace

NORAD Fighters Respond To So-Called GA 'Incursion' 

News/Analysis By James R. Campbell, ANN E-I-C

A US Coast Guard helicopter, under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command (otherwise known as NORAD), intercepted a Cessna 172 GA aircraft in the vicinity of the capital region at approximately 5:38 p.m. EST, Saturday.

The general aviation aircraft was not in radio communications and shortly after intercept, landed without incident at Potomac Airfield, Fort Washington, MD. The helicopter was from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Arlington, VA.

NORAD is quick to note that it "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.

Aero-News/Analysis: This yet another alleged incursion in the complex airspace that surrounds Washington, DC, an outgrowth of the post-9/11 'Security Theater' that was fought (ineffectively) by a number of the aviation associations and the FAA -- and was directed by a TSA that obviously couldn't come up with a workable and flyable system that would actually enhance safety and allow aviation to conduct business in one of the most popular destinations in the nation. Even though the system has been in place for a number of years (though modified several times in that period), the arduous security procedures has snared countless pilots with all manner of experience and aviation backgrounds (students to ATPs... and even a few Feds, to boot)... leaving one to question why this system hasn't been redesigned by some with actual knowledge of the comings and goings of the aviation world... because this system SURE ISN'T IT. -- Jim Campbell, ANN E-I-C 

FMI: www.norad.mil

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