F-16 fighter jets intercepted two airplanes Thursday morning for violating airspace restricted due to President Obama’s visit to California, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
The planes were intercepted in the Los Angeles area at about 9:00 am and 9:30 am PDT at the direction of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
According to NORAD Lieutenant Commander Bill Lewis, the planes entered areas that had been temporarily flight-restricted for the president, and NORAD was asked to “bring them into compliance.”
“There is a temporary flight-restricted area that the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] sets,” Lewis said. “NORAD’s role is to enforce that.”
He said that such occurrences are not entirely uncommon and are usually the product of a pilot’s oversight — like having failed to check for notices about restricted airspace, or having his or her radio off.
“It happens a lot more than people know,” he said. “More times than not it’s really a nonissue.”
Mr. Obama was in California for a series of campaign fundraisers, including two events in San Francisco and a breakfast in Los Angeles.