The flights will occur off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Seattle, between Aberdeen, South Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota and between the Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska and Anchorage, Alaska.
These exercise flights are scheduled to occur between 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. MST. Those in these areas may hear and/or see NORAD-controlled fighter jets in close proximity to military or military contracted aircraft, which will be taking on the role of the intercepted aircraft.
In order to test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD continuously conducts exercises with a variety of scenarios. These exercises are carefully planned, closely controlled and include exercising airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft.
NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout Canada and the U.S. since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that provides maritime warning, aerospace warning and aerospace defense for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
For more information about NORAD, refer to http://www.norad.mil/Home.html.
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For more information about NORAD intercept procedures, refer to the FAA website at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/ATpubs/AIM/Chap5/aim0506.html.