A US F-16 fighter jet was scrambled after a plane entered restricted airspace around US President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Details about the interception were confirmed by the US Secret Service on October 28, 2023.
“Shortly after 2 pm, a civilian aircraft violated restricted airspace north of Wilmington, Delaware. As a precaution, assets were scrambled to intercept, and the civilian aircraft safely landed at a nearby airport,” a statement by the Secret Service read.
According to the Secret Service, President Biden’s movements were not impacted by the incident and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the infringement.
Statement on aircraft violation north of Wilmington, Delaware. This incident had no impact on protective operations and is being investigated by the Secret Service & @FAANews. pic.twitter.com/LuXo7iudO2— Anthony Guglielmi (@SecretSvcSpox) October 28, 2023
The Continental US NORAD Region (CONR) confirmed that as well as the F-16 fighter jet a MH-65 helicopter was also scrambled to assist.
CONR, which provides airspace surveillance over the US, said that the violation happened at 2:25 pm local time and the civillian aircraft was escorted out of the restricted area.
Flares were used by the military aircraft to “draw attention from or communicate with the pilot”. CONR added in a statement that the flares may have been visible to the public.
CONR is part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which uses radars, satellites and fighter jets to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response.
All air defense operations over North America use the mission name NOBLE EAGLE and draws on forces from both the US and Canada.