The North American Aerospace Defence Command issued a statement saying that US military fighter jets replied to a civilian aircraft that “violated a Temporary Flight Restriction” region near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where Vice President Joe Biden is on vacation.
Around 7:50 a.m. PT on Friday, a civilian aircraft violated NORAD airspace, prompting a response from two F-16s and an MH-65 Dolphin from the United States Coast Guard. According to NORAD, the military fighters dropped flares to attract the attention of the pilot before leading the plane safely away.
As stated in a NORAD press release, “during this event, the fighter aircraft dispensed flares, which may have been visible to the public,” in an effort to attract the attention of the pilot. With the utmost care for the intercepted plane and the persons on the ground, flares were used. Flares pose no risk to on-the-ground civilians because they extinguish rapidly.
The White House has stated that “the situation was resolved without incident” and that the president was unaffected.
Biden had a similar experience while on vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, last year. As a safety precaution, Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were evacuated from their Rehoboth Beach home.
The Bidens have spent the past week on vacation at Lake Tahoe.
In its announcement, NORAD stated it uses “a layered defence network of radars, satellites, and fighter aircraft to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response.”
“The identification and monitoring of aircraft demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada,” the press release states.