FAA abruptly cancels ‘national defense airspace’ over Lake Michigan after reporting ‘potential contact’

FAA abruptly cancels 'national defense airspace' over Lake Michigan after reporting 'potential contact'

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FAA Abruptly Cancels ‘National Defense Airspace’ Over Part of Lake Michigan

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has abruptly canceled a “national defense airspace” over part of Lake Michigan, the organization announced Sunday. The FAA says it closed down the area to allow the U.S. military to examine a “potential contact” that was soon determined to not be a threat.

“Pilots who do not adhere to the following [procedure] may be intercepted, detained and interviewed by law enforcement or security personnel,” the FAA wrote in an initial Sunday announcement, adding that such pilots may face deadly force in the air.

“The FAA briefly closed some airspace over Lake Michigan to support Department of Defense activities. The airspace has been reopened,” the FAA wrote in a statement to Fox News Digital.

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The FAA had established a national defense zone over part of Lake Michigan. (U.S. NORTHCOM)

The FAA ended its traffic ban over Montana later Saturday, with NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) releasing a statement indicating that the object was only a radar anomaly. Nevertheless, Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., released a statement on Twitter saying that NORTHCOM (U.S. Northern Command) believes there is an object above the state that is not an anomaly.

“I am in constant communication with NORCOM (sic) and they have just advised me that they have confidence there IS an object and it WAS NOT an anomaly. I am waiting now to receive visual confirmation. Our nation’s security is my priority,” he wrote Sunday.

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NORAD had issued a statement Saturday saying that it “detected a radar anomaly and sent fighter aircraft to investigate.”

“Those aircraft did not identify any object to correlate to the radar hits. NORAD will continue to monitor the situation,” the statement continued.

Rep. Matt Rosendale says NORTHCOM believes there is still an object in the air above Montana.

Rep. Matt Rosendale says NORTHCOM believes there is still an object in the air above Montana. (Reuters / File)

Debris from China's surveillance balloon is hauled onto a boat off the coast of South Carolina.

Debris from China’s surveillance balloon is hauled onto a boat off the coast of South Carolina. (U.S. Fleet Forces / File)

The U.S. has shot down three aircraft over North America in the past week, with the first being a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4. The second and third are believed to have been smaller balloons, which were shot down over Alaska and Canada, respectively.

The FAA’s abrupt cancellation of the “national defense airspace” over part of Lake Michigan is yet another example of the U.S. military’s heightened vigilance in the face of what appear to be unprecedented challenges to national security. The FAA and NORAD have both issued statements indicating that the objects in question have been identified and the airspace has been reopened, but the incident highlights the need for continued vigilance in the air.

Anders Hagstrom is a reporter with Fox News Digital covering national politics and major breaking News events. Send tips to Anders.Hagstrom@Fox.com, or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.

Avi Adkins

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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