FAA announces temporary flight restrictions during NATO

May 2, 2012

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(Flickr/Konstantin Papushin)

The Federal Aviation Administration says a temporary flight restriction will be in effect over Chicago during the NATO summit, meaning the federal government is able to use "deadly force" against any planes that don't follow those rules.

When the Department of Homeland security designates something as a "national special security event," airplane traffic is restricted to very specific operations. Commercial planes are fine, but any personal aircraft - or even hang gliders - can't fly in the restricted zone. The same rules follow for the NATO weekend: May 19th to the 21st. Pilots who don't follow the rules could see civil penalties, criminal charges, or even could be shot down by the federal government.

Lt. Al Blondin is with NORAD, one of the organizations that's responsible for dealing with air threats. He said the FAA will go through multiple procedures before taking drastic action.

"I'm sure the air traffic controllers are gonna try and contact that plane and talk to them and inform them. It begins at the very lowest levels," he said.

Blondin says the restrictions are pretty routine, but NORAD will be prepared just in case. Blondin couldn't say exactly where they'll be stationed, just that they'll be on "bases within reach" of Chicago.

The exact location and times for the temporary flight restriction have yet to be determined, but the announcement said the perimeter will likely contain an outer ring measuring 30 nautical miles and an inner core of about 10 nautical miles.