The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a temporary ‘no-fly zone’ over Wilmington, Delaware – the hometown of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as he moves closer to securing the election victory.
The temporary flight restrictions were issued via a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which reclassified the airspace over Wilmington as ‘National Defense Airspace’. The ‘no-fly zone’ – which covers a radius of one nautical mile – began on November 4 and will end on November 7, with the FAA citing ‘special security reasons as the basis for the move. The administration’s advisory urges all pilots that are not taking part in emergency operations or arriving/departing from nearby New Castle Airport to avoid the area unless otherwise approved.
TFR active over Wilmington DE. It's now "National Defense Airspace". pic.twitter.com/UYHBx4vuXl— Tyson Weihs (@tysonweihs) November 4, 2020
In the notice, the FAA said: “The [FAA] classifies the airspace defined in this NOTAM as ‘National Defense Airpsace’. Pilots who do not adhere to the following procedures may be intercepted, detained and interviewed by law enforcement/security personnel.”
The ‘no-fly zone’ also applies to unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators. The FAA warned that any unauthorised flights could result in the “seizure, damaging, or destruction of unmanned aircraft deemed to pose a credible safety or security threat to protected personnel, facilities or assets.”
The FAA has frequently enacted ‘no-fly zones’ over areas during major political events, such as presidential inaugurations and Democratic and Republican conferences.
Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, is on the verge of becoming the 46th President of the United States, after victories in Michigan and Wisconsin on November 5 inched him closer to the presidency. As of 1030hrs (ET) on November 6, Biden has taken the lead in the majority of the remaining uncalled battleground states, including Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania.