NORAD Exercise Flights Planned Over Northwestern Arizona and Southern California

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct exercise flights Mar. 11 in the skies in the vicinity of Peach Springs, Kingman, and Bullhead City of Northwestern Arizona as well as the skies in the vicinity of Needles, Hector, Victorville, Anza-Borrego State Park and the western Salton Sea area of Southern California. The flights will take place in the mid-morning, and people can expect to hear and see NORAD fighter aircraft in close proximity with 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, Temporary Flight Restriction violation or airborne terrorist.

For more information about NORAD intercept procedures, please refer to this Federal Aviation Administration link: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/ATpubs/AIM/Chap5/aim0506.html

Since Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD fighters have responded to more than 3,300 possible air threats in Canada and the United States.