GA Aircraft - The Majority Of Over Fifteen Hundred
Intercepts NORAD Has Made
Peterson Air Force Base, CO -
Pilots from North American Aerospace Defense Command, the organization charged
with intercepting aircraft that violate temporary flight restrictions, attended
the AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI this year to talk face-to-face with general
aviation pilots on how to avoid TFRs and what to do if they're intercepted.
aviation aircraft make up the majority of over fifteen hundred intercepts NORAD
has made since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the command is
attempting to cut down that number through outreach and education programs.
ultimate goal of the pilot outreach is to educate civilian pilots on how to
avoid TFRs and on what they should do if intercepted," said Lt. Col. Kevin
Roethe, one of the NORAD officers who conducts the outreach operations.”
intercepts are at great expense to the taxpayer and effectively reduce our
readiness for actual threats to the nation, not to mention a big inconvenience
to the civilian pilot being forced to land and met by federal agents,” he said.
“By attending air shows, we put a face to the NORAD operations and emphasize
the importance of properly preparing for a flight, which includes checking for
said the face-to-face aspect was important, and that while some pilots seemed
suspicious at first, it didn't take long for them to establish bonds over their
common aviation backgrounds.
they were put off, wondering why NORAD pilots were coming over to their
airplane," Roethe said. "After joking with them and retelling war
stories, they were very receptive. By sharing our passion for flying, and the
clear guidelines for safety, we influence the pilot population to understand we
are there to help them stay out of trouble."
Col Geoff Maki, NORAD Operations Division chief, and Lt. Col. Ray Bonita, NORAD
Operations Senior Air Defense Liasion, spent the air show speaking one-on-one
with pilots and conducting briefings on avoiding TFRs and intercept procedures.
They also gave the pilots information information designed to be referenced
in-flight with instructions on what to do if intercepted. The briefings were
also broadcast over the internet through the Federal Aviation Administration's
try to leave them with three main things," Roethe explained. "Most
importantly, pilots need to check for the TFRs along their route of flight and
stay in radio contact with air traffic controllers. We also emphasize how to
avoid penetrating prohibited areas like Camp David and the requirements for
entering U.S airspace, including the procedures for crossing the Air Defense
Identification Zones. We finish with what to do if they are intercepted by a
NORAD fighter or helicopter. There’s more to it than just apologizing - there
are specific FAA procedures to follow."
team is capitalizing on the whole of government effort, including collaborating
with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots
Association, and other government and industry leaders to reach and educate
goal is prevention through education," he said. "We have credibility
because we share their love of flying, and try to inject humor and comradery to
make a lasting impression. The true difference will be told when there are
fewer TFR, prohibited area and ADIZ violations and a reduction in NORAD
scrambles against general aviation aircraft."