Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Please, No Conspiracy Theory Phone Calls Today

NORAD exercise flights planned over parts of New York and Pennsylvania
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct exercise flights May 26 in the skies in the vicinity of Glens Falls and Albany, N.Y. to Scranton, PA. The flights will take place in the late-morning, and people may hear and see NORAD fighter aircraft in close proximity with DOD contracted general aviation aircraft as they practice their intercept and identification procedures.
The exercise has been carefully planned and will be closely controlled to ensure NORAD’s rapid response capability. 
NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. Each exercise flight utilizes a scenario to test NORAD’s response, systems and equipment.  Scenarios could include counter-drug operations, aircraft in distress, aircraft defecting, hijacking, unknown aircraft, Dangerous Military Activity, Temporary Flight Restriction violation or airborne terrorist.

The paragraphs above are from a NORAD news release, and I'm glad it let us know what was going on.

The days immediately after 9/11 were difficult for us all.  Once planes were allowed to fly again, the newsroom would be bombarded with telephone calls any time there was something even slightly unusual in the sky.  Believe me, we understood your anxiety.

I'm actually looking forward to this.  Spotting unusual, but friendly, aircraft is always interesting.