ENR 1.12 National Security and Interception Procedures

  1. National Security
    1. National security in the control of air traffic is governed by 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 99, Security Control of Air Traffic.
    2. National Security Requirements
      1. Pursuant to 14 CFR 99.7, Special Security Instructions, each person operating an aircraft in an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) or Defense Area must, in addition to the applicable rules of Part 99, comply with special security instructions issued by the FAA Administrator in the interest of national security, pursuant to agreement between the FAA and the Department of Defense (DOD), or between the FAA and a U.S. Federal security or intelligence agency.
      2. In addition to the requirements prescribed in this section, national security requirements for aircraft operations to or from, within, or transiting U.S. territorial airspace are in effect pursuant to 14 CFR 99.7; 49 United States Code (USC) 40103, Sovereignty and Use of Airspace; and 49 USC 41703, Navigation of Foreign Civil Aircraft. Aircraft operations to or from, within, or transiting U.S. territorial airspace must also comply with all other applicable regulations published in 14 CFR.
      3. Due to increased security measures in place at many areas and in accordance with 14 CFR 91.103, Preflight Action, prior to departure, pilots must become familiar with all available information concerning that flight. Pilots are responsible to comply with 14 CFR 91.137 ( Temporary flight restrictions in the vicinity of disaster/hazard areas), 91.138 ( Temporary flight restrictions in national disaster areas in the State of Hawaii), 91.141 ( Flight restrictions in the proximity of the Presidential and other parties), and 91.143 ( Flight limitation in the proximity of space flight operations) when conducting flight in an area where a temporary flight restrictions area is in effect, and should check appropriate NOTAMs during flight planning. In addition, NOTAMs may be issued for National Security Areas (NSA) that temporarily prohibit flight operations under the provisions of 14 CFR 99.7.

        REFERENCE-

        AIP ENR 5.1, Paragraph 2.1, National Security Areas 
        AIP ENR 5.1, Paragraph 2.2, Temporary Flight Restrictions

      4. Noncompliance with the national security requirements for aircraft operations contained in this section may result in denial of flight entry into U.S. territorial airspace or ground stop of the flight at a U.S. airport.
      5. Pilots of aircraft that do not adhere to the procedures in the national security requirements for aircraft operations contained in this section may be intercepted, and/or detained and interviewed by federal, state, or local law enforcement or other government personnel.
    3. Definitions
      1. Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) means an area of airspace over land or water, in which the ready identification, location, and control of all aircraft (except Department of Defense and law enforcement aircraft) is required in the interest of national security.
      2. Defense Area means any airspace of the contiguous U.S. that is not an ADIZ in which the control of aircraft is required for reasons of national security.
      3. U.S. territorial airspace, for the purposes of this section, means the airspace over the U.S., its territories, and possessions, and the airspace over the territorial sea of the U.S., which extends 12 nautical miles from the baselines of the U.S., determined in accordance with international law.
      4. To U.S. territorial airspace means any flight that enters U.S. territorial airspace after departure from a location outside of the U.S., its territories or possessions, for landing at a destination in the U.S., its territories or possessions.
      5. From U.S. territorial airspace means any flight that exits U.S. territorial airspace after departure from a location in the U.S., its territories or possessions, and lands at a destination outside the U.S., its territories or possessions.
      6. Within U.S. territorial airspace means any flight departing from a location inside of the U.S., its territories or possessions, which operates en route to a location inside the U.S., its territories or possessions.
      7. Transit or transiting U.S. territorial airspace means any flight departing from a location outside of the U.S., its territories or possessions, which operates in U.S. territorial airspace en route to a location outside the U.S., its territories or possessions without landing at a destination in the U.S., its territories or possessions.
      8. Aeronautical facility, for the purposes of this section, means a communications facility where flight plans or position reports are normally filed during flight operations.
    4. ADIZ Requirements
      1. To facilitate early identification of all aircraft in the vicinity of U.S. airspace boundaries, Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) have been established. All aircraft must meet certain requirements to facilitate early identification when operating into, within, and across an ADIZ, as described in 14 CFR 99. (See FIG ENR 1.12-1.)
      2. Requirements for aircraft operations are as follows:
        1. Transponder Requirements. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, each aircraft conducting operations into, within, or across the contiguous U.S. ADIZ must be equipped with an operable radar beacon transponder having altitude reporting capability, and that transponder must be turned on and set to reply on the appropriate code or as assigned by ATC. (See 14 CFR 99.13, Transponder-On Requirements, for additional information.)
        2. Two-way Radio. In accordance with 14 CFR 99.9, Radio Requirements, any person operating in an ADIZ must maintain two-way radio communication with an appropriate aeronautical facility. For two-way radio communications failure, follow instructions contained in 14 CFR 99.9.
        3. Flight Plan. In accordance with 14 CFR 99.11, Flight Plan Requirements, and 14 CFR 99.9, except as specified in subparagraph 1.4.5, no person may operate an aircraft into, within, or from a departure point within an ADIZ, unless the person files, activates, and closes a flight plan with an appropriate aeronautical facility, or is otherwise authorized by air traffic control as follows:
          1. Pilots must file an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan or file a Defense Visual Flight Rules (DVFR) flight plan containing the time and point of ADIZ penetration;
          2. The pilot must activate the DVFR flight plan with U.S. Flight Service and set the aircraft transponder to the assigned discrete beacon code prior to entering the ADIZ;
          3. The IFR or DVFR aircraft must depart within 5 minutes of the estimated departure time contained in the flight plan, except for (d) below;
          4. If the airport of departure within the Alaskan ADIZ has no facility for filing a flight plan, the flight plan must be filed immediately after takeoff or when within range of an appropriate aeronautical facility;
          5. State aircraft (U.S. or foreign) planning to operate through an ADIZ should enter ICAO Code M in Item 8 of the flight plan to assist in identification of the aircraft as a state aircraft.
      3. Position Reporting Before Penetration of ADIZ .
        In accordance with 14 CFR 99.15, Position Reports, before entering the ADIZ, the pilot must report to an appropriate aeronautical facility as follows:
        1. IFR flights in controlled airspace. The pilot must maintain a continuous watch on the appropriate frequency and report the time and altitude of passing each designated reporting point or those reporting points specified or requested by ATC, except that while the aircraft is under radar control, only the passing of those reporting points specifically requested by ATC need be reported. (See 14 CFR 91.183(a), IFR Communications.)
        2. DVFR flights and IFR flights in uncontrolled airspace:
          1. The time, position, and altitude at which the aircraft passed the last reporting point before penetration and the estimated time of arrival over the next appropriate reporting point along the flight route;
          2. If there is no appropriate reporting point along the flight route, the pilot reports at least 15 minutes before penetration: the estimated time, position, and altitude at which the pilot will penetrate; or
          3. If the departure airport is within an ADIZ or so close to the ADIZ boundary that it prevents the pilot from complying with (a) or (b) above, the pilot must report immediately after departure: the time of departure, the altitude, and the estimated time of arrival over the first reporting point along the flight route.
        3. Foreign civil aircraft. If the pilot of a foreign civil aircraft that intends to enter the U.S. through an ADIZ cannot comply with the reporting requirements in subparagraphs 1.4.3.1 or 1.4.3.2 above, as applicable, the pilot must report the position of the aircraft to the appropriate aeronautical facility not less than 1 hour and not more than 2 hours average direct cruising distance from the U.S.
      4. Land-Based ADIZ. Land-Based ADIZ are activated and deactivated over U.S. metropolitan areas as needed, with dimensions, activation dates and other relevant information disseminated via NOTAM. Pilots unable to comply with all NOTAM requirements must remain clear of Land-Based ADIZ. Pilots entering a Land-Based ADIZ without authorization or who fail to follow all requirements risk interception by military fighter aircraft.
      5. Exceptions to ADIZ requirements.
        1. Except for the national security requirements in paragraph 1.2, transponder requirements in subparagraph 1.4.2.1, and position reporting in subparagraph 1.4.3, the ADIZ requirements in 14 CFR Part 99 described in this section do not apply to the following aircraft operations pursuant to Section 99.1(b), Applicability:
          1. Within the 48 contiguous States or within the State of Alaska, on a flight which remains within 10 NM of the point of departure;
          2. Operating at true airspeed of less than 180 knots in the Hawaii ADIZ or over any island, or within 12 NM of the coastline of any island, in the Hawaii ADIZ;
          3. Operating at true airspeed of less than 180 knots in the Alaska ADIZ while the pilot maintains a continuous listening watch on the appropriate frequency; or
          4. Operating at true airspeed of less than 180 knots in the Guam ADIZ.
        2. An FAA air route traffic control center (ARTCC) may exempt certain aircraft operations on a local basis in concurrence with the DOD or pursuant to an agreement with a U.S. Federal security or intelligence agency. (See 14 CFR 99.1 for additional information.)
      6. A VFR flight plan filed inflight makes an aircraft subject to interception for positive identification when entering an ADIZ. Pilots are therefore urged to file the required DVFR flight plan either in person or by telephone prior to departure when able.
    5. Civil Aircraft Operations To or From U.S. Territorial Airspace
      1. Civil aircraft, except as described in subparagraph 1.5.2 below, are authorized to operate to or from U.S. territorial airspace if in compliance with all of the following conditions:
        1. File and are on an active flight plan (IFR, VFR, or DVFR);
        2. Are equipped with an operational transponder with altitude reporting capability, and continuously squawk an ATC assigned transponder code;
        3. Maintain two-way radio communications with ATC;
        4. Comply with all other applicable ADIZ requirements described in paragraph 1.4 and any other national security requirements in paragraph 1.2;
        5. Comply with all applicable U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requirements, including Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) requirements (see subparagraph 1.5.3 below for CBP APIS information), in accordance with 19 CFR Part 122, Air Commerce Regulations; and
        6. Are in receipt of, and are operating in accordance with, an FAA routing authorization if the aircraft is registered in a U.S. State Department-designated special interest country or is operating with the ICAO three letter designator (3LD) of a company in a country listed as a U.S. State Department-designated special interest country, unless the operator holds valid FAA Part 129 operations specifications. VFR and DVFR flight operations are prohibited for any aircraft requiring an FAA routing authorization. (See paragraph 1.11 for FAA routing authorization information).
      2. Civil aircraft registered in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight of 100,309 pounds (45,500 kgs) or less that are operating without an operational transponder, and/or the ability to maintain two-way radio communications with ATC, are authorized to operate to or from U.S. territorial airspace over Alaska if in compliance with all of the following conditions:
        1. Depart and land at an airport within the U.S. or Canada;
        2. Enter or exit U.S. territorial airspace over Alaska north of the fifty-fourth parallel;
        3. File and are on an active flight plan;
        4. Comply with all other applicable ADIZ requirements described in paragraph 1.4 and any other national security requirements in paragraph 1.2;
        5. Squawk 1200 if VFR and equipped with a transponder; and
        6. Comply with all applicable U.S. CBP requirements, including APIS requirements (see paragraph 1.5.3 below for CBP APIS information), in accordance with 19 CFR Part 122, Air Commerce Regulations.
      3. CBP APIS Information. Information about U.S. CBP APIS requirements is available at http://www.cbp.gov.
    6. Civil Aircraft Operations Within U.S. Territorial Airspace
      1. Civil aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight less than or equal to 100,309 pounds (45,500 kgs) are authorized to operate within U.S. territorial airspace in accordance with all applicable regulations and VFR in airport traffic pattern areas of U.S. airports near the U.S. border, except for those described in subparagraph 1.6.2 below.
      2. Civil aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight less than or equal to 100,309 pounds (45,500 kgs) and registered in a U.S. State Department-designated special interest country or operating with the ICAO 3LD of a company in a country listed as a U.S. State Department-designated special interest country, unless the operator holds valid FAA Part 129 operations specifications, must operate within U.S. territorial airspace in accordance with the same requirements as civil aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight greater than 100,309 pounds (45,500 kgs), as described in subparagraph 1.6.3 below.
      3. Civil aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight greater than 100,309 pounds (45,500 kgs) are authorized to operate within U.S. territorial airspace if in compliance with all of the following conditions:
        1. File and are on an active flight plan (IFR or VFR);
        2. Equipped with an operational transponder with altitude reporting capability, and continuously squawk an ATC assigned transponder code;
        3. Maintain two-way radio communications with ATC;
        4. Aircraft not registered in the U.S. must operate under an approved Transportation Security Administration (TSA) aviation security program (see paragraph 1.10 for TSA aviation security program information) or in accordance with an FAA/TSA airspace waiver (see paragraph 1.9 for FAA/TSA airspace waiver information), except as authorized in 1.6.3.6 below;
        5. Are in receipt of, and are operating in accordance with an FAA routing authorization and an FAA/TSA airspace waiver if the aircraft is registered in a U.S. State Department-designated special interest country or is operating with the ICAO 3LD of a company in a country listed as a U.S. State Department-designated special interest country, unless the operator holds valid FAA Part 129 operations specifications. VFR and DVFR flight operations are prohibited for any aircraft requiring an FAA routing authorization. (See paragraph 1.11 for FAA routing authorization information.); and
        6. Aircraft not registered in the U.S., when conducting post-maintenance, manufacturer, production, or acceptance flight test operations, are exempt from the requirements in 1.6.3.4 above if all of the following requirements are met:
          1. A U.S. company must have operational control of the aircraft;
          2. An FAA-certificated pilot must serve as pilot in command;
          3. Only crewmembers are permitted onboard the aircraft; and
          4. “Maintenance Flight” is included in the remarks section of the flight plan.
    7. Civil Aircraft Operations Transiting U.S. Territorial Airspace
      1. Civil aircraft (except those operating in accordance with subparagraphs 1.7.2, 1.7.3, 1.7.4, or 1.7.5) are authorized to transit U.S. territorial airspace if in compliance with all of the following conditions:
        1. File and are on an active flight plan (IFR, VFR, or DVFR);
        2. Equipped with an operational transponder with altitude reporting capability and continuously squawk an ATC assigned transponder code;
        3. Maintain two-way radio communications with ATC;
        4. Comply with all other applicable ADIZ requirements described in paragraph 1.4 and any other national security requirements in paragraph 1.2;
        5. Are operating under an approved TSA aviation security program (see paragraph 1.10 for TSA aviation security program information) or are operating with and in accordance with an FAA/TSA airspace waiver (see paragraph 1.9 for FAA/TSA airspace waiver information), if:
          1. The aircraft is not registered in the U.S.; or
          2. The aircraft is registered in the U.S. and its maximum takeoff gross weight is greater than 100,309 pounds (45,500 kgs);
        6. Are in receipt of, and are operating in accordance with, an FAA routing authorization if the aircraft is registered in a U.S. State Department-designated special interest country or is operating with the ICAO 3LD of a company in a country listed as a U.S. State Department-designated special interest country, unless the operator holds valid FAA Part 129 operations specifications. VFR and DVFR flight operations are prohibited for any aircraft requiring an FAA routing authorization. (See paragraph 1.11 for FAA routing authorization information.)
      2. Civil aircraft registered in Canada or Mexico, and engaged in operations for the purposes of air ambulance, firefighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, or emergency evacuation are authorized to transit U.S. territorial airspace within 50 NM of their respective borders with the U.S., with or without an active flight plan, provided they have received and continuously transmit an ATC-assigned transponder code.
      3. Civil aircraft registered in Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, or the British Virgin Islands with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight of 100,309 pounds (45,500 kgs) or less are authorized to transit U.S. territorial airspace if in compliance with all of the following conditions:
        1. File and are on an active flight plan (IFR, VFR, or DVFR) that enters U.S. territorial airspace directly from any of the countries listed in this subparagraph 1.7.3. Flights that include a stop in a non-listed country prior to entering U.S. territorial airspace must comply with the requirements prescribed by subparagraph 1.7.1 above, including operating under an approved TSA aviation security program (see paragraph 1.10 for TSA aviation program information) or operating with, and in accordance with, an FAA/TSA airspace waiver (see paragraph 1.9 for FAA/TSA airspace waiver information);
        2. Equipped with an operational transponder with altitude reporting capability and continuously squawk an ATC assigned transponder code;
        3. Maintain two-way radio communications with ATC; and
        4. Comply with all other applicable ADIZ requirements described in paragraph 1.4 and any other national security requirements in paragraph 1.2.
      4. Civil aircraft registered in Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, or the British Virgin Islands with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight greater than 100,309 pounds (45,500 kgs) must comply with the requirements in subparagraph 1.7.1, including operating under an approved TSA aviation security program (see paragraph 1.10 for TSA aviation program information) or operating with, and in accordance with, an FAA/TSA airspace waiver (see paragraph 1.9 for FAA/TSA airspace waiver information).
      5. Civil aircraft registered in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight of 100,309 pounds (45,500 kgs) or less that are operating without an operational transponder and/or the ability to maintain two-way radio communications with ATC, are authorized to transit U.S. territorial airspace over Alaska if in compliance with all of the following conditions:
        1. Enter and exit U.S. territorial airspace over Alaska north of the fifty-fourth parallel;
        2. File and are on an active flight plan;
        3. Squawk 1200 if VFR and equipped with a transponder; and
        4. Comply with all other applicable ADIZ requirements described in paragraph 1.4 and any other national security requirements in paragraph 1.2.
    8. Foreign State Aircraft Operations
      1. Foreign state aircraft are authorized to operate in U.S. territorial airspace if in compliance with all of the following conditions:
        1. File and are on an active IFR flight plan;
        2. Equipped with an operational transponder with altitude reporting capability and continuously squawk an ATC assigned transponder code;
        3. Maintain two-way radio communications with ATC;
        4. Comply with all other applicable ADIZ requirements described in paragraph 1.4 and any other national security requirements in paragraph 1.2.
      2. Diplomatic Clearances. Foreign state aircraft may operate to or from, within, or in transit of U.S. territorial airspace only when authorized by the U.S. State Department by means of a diplomatic clearance, except as described in subparagraph 1.8.8 below.
        1. Information about diplomatic clearances is available at the U.S. State Department website http://www.state.gov/t/pm/iso/c56895.htm (lower case only).
        2. A diplomatic clearance may be initiated by contacting the U.S. State Department via email at DCAS@state.gov or via phone at (202) 663-3390.

          NOTE-

          A diplomatic clearance is not required for foreign state aircraft operations that transit U.S. controlled oceanic airspace but do not enter U.S. territorial airspace. (See subparagraph  1.8.4  for flight plan information.)

      3. An FAA routing authorization for state aircraft operations of special interest countries listed in subparagraph 1.11.2 is required before the U.S. State Department will issue a diplomatic clearance for such operations. (See paragraph 1.11 for FAA routing authorizations information).
      4. Foreign state aircraft operating with a diplomatic clearance must navigate U.S. territorial airspace on an active IFR flight plan, unless specifically approved for VFR flight operations by the U.S. State Department in the diplomatic clearance.

        NOTE-

        Foreign state aircraft operations to or from, within, or transiting U.S. territorial airspace; or transiting any U.S. controlled oceanic airspace, should enter ICAO code M in Item 8 of the flight plan to assist in identification of the aircraft as a state aircraft.

      5. A foreign aircraft that operates to or from, within, or in transit of U.S. territorial airspace while conducting a state aircraft operation is not authorized to change its status as a state aircraft during any portion of the approved, diplomatically cleared itinerary.
      6. A foreign aircraft described in subparagraph 1.8.5 above may operate from or within U.S. territorial airspace as a civil aircraft operation, once it has completed its approved, diplomatically cleared itinerary, if the aircraft operator is:
        1. A foreign air carrier that holds valid FAA Part 129 operations specifications; and
        2. Is in compliance with all other requirements applied to foreign civil aircraft operations from or within U.S. territorial airspace. (See paragraphs 1.5 and 1.6.)
      7. Foreign state aircraft operations are not authorized to or from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA).
      8. Diplomatic Clearance Exceptions. State aircraft operations on behalf of the governments of Canada and Mexico conducted for the purposes of air ambulance, firefighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, or emergency evacuation are authorized to transit U.S. territorial airspace within 50 NM of their respective borders with the U.S., with or without an active flight plan, provided they have received and continuously transmit an ATC assigned transponder code. State aircraft operations on behalf of the governments of Canada and Mexico conducted under this subparagraph 1.8.8 are not required to obtain a diplomatic clearance from the U.S. State Department.
    9. FAA/TSA Airspace Waivers
      1. Operators may submit requests for FAA/TSA airspace waivers at https://waivers.faa.gov by selecting “international” as the waiver type.
      2. Information regarding FAA/TSA airspace waivers can be found at: http://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/general-aviation or can be obtained by contacting TSA at (571) 227-2071.
      3. All existing FAA/TSA waivers issued under previous FDC NOTAMS remain valid until the expiration date specified in the waiver, unless sooner superseded or rescinded.
    10. TSA Aviation Security Programs
      1. Applicants for U.S. air operator certificates will be provided contact information for TSA aviation security programs by the U.S. Department of Transportation during the certification process.
      2. For information about applicable TSA security programs:
        1. U.S. air carriers and commercial operators must contact their TSA Principal Security Specialist (PSS); and
        2. Foreign air carriers must contact their International Industry Representative (IIR).
    11. FAA Flight Routing Authorizations
      1. Information about FAA routing authorizations for U.S. State Department-designated special interest country flight operations to or from, within, or transiting U.S. territorial airspace is available by country at:
        1. FAA website: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/us_restrictions/; or
        2. Phone by contacting the FAA System Operations Support Center (SOSC) at (202) 267-8115.
      2. Special Interest Countries. The U.S. State Department-designated special interest countries are Cuba, Iran, The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), The People's Republic of China, The Russian Federation, Sudan, and Syria.

        NOTE-

        FAA flight routing authorizations are not required for aircraft registered in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macau.

      3. Aircraft operating with the ICAO 3LD assigned to a company or entity from a country listed as a State Department-designated special interest country and holding valid FAA Part 129 operations specifications do not require FAA flight routing authorization.
      4. FAA routing authorizations will only be granted for IFR operations. VFR and DVFR flight operations are prohibited for any aircraft requiring an FAA routing authorization.
    12. Emergency Security Control of Air Traffic (ESCAT)
      1. During defense emergency or air defense emergency conditions, additional special security instructions may be issued in accordance with 32 CFR Part 245, Plan for the Emergency Security Control of Air Traffic (ESCAT).
      2. Under the provisions of 32 CFR Part 245, the military will direct the action to be taken in regard to landing, grounding, diversion, or dispersal of aircraft in the defense of the U.S. during emergency conditions.
      3. At the time a portion or all of ESCAT is implemented, ATC facilities will broadcast appropriate instructions received from the Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) over available ATC frequencies. Depending on instructions received from the ATCSCC, VFR flights may be directed to land at the nearest available airport, and IFR flights will be expected to proceed as directed by ATC.
      4. Pilots on the ground may be required to file a flight plan and obtain an approval (through FAA) prior to conducting flight operation.
  2. Interception Procedures
    1. General
      1. In conjunction with the FAA, Air Defense Sectors monitor air traffic and could order an intercept in the interest of national security or defense. Intercepts during peacetime operations are vastly different from those conducted under increased states of readiness. The interceptors may be fighters or rotary wing aircraft. The reasons for aircraft intercept include, but are not limited to:
        1. Identify an aircraft.
        2. Track an aircraft.
        3. Inspect an aircraft.
        4. Divert an aircraft.
        5. Establish communications with an aircraft.
      2. All aircraft operating in US national airspace are highly encouraged to maintain a listening watch on VHF/UHF guard frequencies (121.5 or 243.0 MHz). If subjected to a military intercept, it is incumbent on civilian aviators to understand their responsibilities and to comply with ICAO standard signals relayed from the intercepting aircraft. Specifically, aviators are expected to contact air traffic control without delay (if able) on the local operating frequency or on VHF/UHF guard. Noncompliance may result in the use of force.
      3. When specific information is required (i.e., markings, serial numbers, etc.) the interceptor pilot(s) will respond only if, in their judgment, the request can be conducted in a safe manner. Intercept procedures are described in some detail in the paragraphs below. In all situations, the interceptor pilot will consider safety of flight for all concerned throughout the intercept procedure. The interceptor pilot(s) will use caution to avoid startling the intercepted crew or passengers and understand that maneuvers considered normal for interceptor aircraft may be considered hazardous to other aircraft.
    2. Fighter Intercept Phases (See FIG ENR 1.12-2)
      1. Approach Phase
        1. As standard procedure, intercepted aircraft are approached from behind. Typically, interceptor aircraft will be employed in pairs; however, it is not uncommon for a single aircraft to perform the intercept operation. Safe separation between interceptors and intercepted aircraft is the responsibility of the intercepting aircraft and will be maintained at all times.
      2. Identification Phase
        1. Interceptor aircraft will initiate a controlled closure toward the aircraft of interest, holding at a distance no closer than deemed necessary to establish positive identification and to gather the necessary information. The interceptor may also fly past the intercepted aircraft while gathering data at a distance considered safe based on aircraft performance characteristics.
      3. Post Intercept Phase
        1. An interceptor may attempt to establish communications via standard ICAO signals. In time-critical situations where the interceptor is seeking an immediate response from the intercepted aircraft or if the intercepted aircraft remains non-compliant to instruction, the interceptor pilot may initiate a divert maneuver. In this maneuver, the interceptor flies across the intercepted aircraft's flight path (minimum 500 feet separation and commencing from slightly below the intercepted aircraft altitude) in the general direction the intercepted aircraft is expected to turn. The interceptor will rock its wings (daytime) or flash external lights/select afterburners (night) while crossing the intercepted aircraft's flight path. The interceptor will roll out in the direction the intercepted aircraft is expected to turn before returning to verify the aircraft of interest is complying. The intercepted aircraft is expected to execute an immediate turn to the direction of the intercepting aircraft. If the aircraft of interest does not comply, the interceptor may conduct a second climbing turn across the intercepted aircraft's flight path (minimum 500 feet separation and commencing from slightly below the intercepted aircraft altitude) while expending flares as a warning signal to the intercepted aircraft to comply immediately and to turn in the direction indicated and to leave the area. The interceptor is responsible to maintain safe separation during these and all intercept maneuvers. Flight safety is paramount.

          NOTE-

          1. NORAD interceptors will take every precaution to preclude the possibility of the intercepted aircraft experiencing jet wash/wake turbulence; however, there is a potential that this condition could be encountered.
          2. During night/IMC, the intercept will be from below flight path.

          FIG ENR 1.12- 1
          Air Defense Identification Zone Boundaries

          Designated Mountainous Areas

          A graphic depicting the designated mountainous areas within the air defense identification zone boundaries.

          FIG ENR 1.12- 2
          Intercept Procedures

          A graphic depicting intercept procedures.
    3. Helicopter Intercept Phases (See FIG ENR 1.12-3)
      1. Approach Phase
        1. Aircraft intercepted by helicopter may be approached from any direction, although the helicopter should close for identification and signaling from behind. Generally, the helicopter will approach off the left side of the intercepted aircraft. Safe separation between the helicopter and the unidentified aircraft will be maintained at all times.
      2. Identification Phase
        1. The helicopter will initiate a controlled closure toward the aircraft of interest, holding at a distance no closer than deemed necessary to establish positive identification and gather the necessary information. The intercepted pilot should expect the interceptor helicopter to take a position off his left wing slightly forward of abeam.
      3. Post Intercept Phase
        1. Visual signaling devices may be used in an attempt to communicate with the intercepted aircraft. Visual signaling devices may include, but are not limited to, LED scrolling signboards or blue flashing lights. If compliance is not obtained through the use of radios or signaling devices, standard ICAO intercept signals ( TBL ENR 1.12-1) may be employed. In order to maintain safe aircraft separation, it is incumbent upon the pilot of the intercepted aircraft not to fall into a trail position (directly behind the helicopter) if instructed to follow the helicopter. This is because the helicopter pilot may lose visual contact with the intercepted aircraft.

          NOTE-

          Intercepted aircraft must not follow directly behind the helicopter thereby allowing the helicopter pilot to maintain visual contact with the intercepted aircraft and ensuring safe separation is maintained.

          FIG ENR 1.12- 3
          Helicopter Intercept Procedures

          A graphic depicting the procedures for intercepting a helicopter.
      4. Summary of Intercepted Aircraft Actions
        1. An intercepted aircraft must, without delay:
          1. Adhere to instructions relayed through the use of visual devices, visual signals, and radio communications from the intercepting aircraft.
          2. Attempt to establish radio communications with the intercepting aircraft or with the appropriate air traffic control facility by making a general call on guard frequencies (121.5 or 243.0 MHz), giving the identity, position, and nature of the flight.
          3. If transponder equipped, select Mode 3/A Code 7700 unless otherwise instructed by air traffic control.

            NOTE-

            If instruction received from any agency conflicts with that given by the intercepting aircraft through visual or radio communications, the intercepted aircraft must seek immediate clarification.

          4. Continue to comply with interceptor aircraft signals and instructions until positively released.
    4. Interception Signals (See TBL ENR 1.12-1 and TBL ENR 1.12-2)
    5. Visual Warning System (VWS)
      1. The VWS signal consists of highly-focused red and green colored laser lights designed to illuminate in an alternating red and green signal pattern. These lasers may be directed at specific aircraft suspected of making unauthorized entry into the Washington, DC Special Flight Rules Area (DC SFRA) proceeding on a heading or flight path that may be interpreted as a threat or that operate contrary to the operating rules for the DC SFRA. The beam is neither hazardous to the eyes of pilots/aircrew or passengers, regardless of altitude or distance from the source nor will the beam affect aircraft systems.
        1. If you are communicating with ATC, and this signal is directed at your aircraft, you are required to contact ATC and advise that you are being illuminated by a visual warning system.
        2. If this signal is directed at you, and you are not communicating with ATC, you are advised to turn to the most direct heading away from the center of the DC SFRA as soon as possible. Immediately contact ATC on an appropriate frequency, VHF Guard 121.5 or UHF Guard 243.0, and provide your aircraft identification, position, and nature of the flight. Failure to follow these procedures may result in interception by military aircraft. Further noncompliance with interceptor aircraft or ATC may result in the use of force.
        3. Pilots planning to operate aircraft in or near the DC SFRA are to familiarize themselves with aircraft intercept procedures. This information applies to all aircraft operating within the DC SFRA including DOD, Law Enforcement, and aircraft engaged in aeromedical operations and does not change procedures established for reporting unauthorized laser illumination as published in FAA Advisory Circulars and Notices.

          REFERENCE-

          CFR 91.161

        4. More details including a video demonstration of the VWS are available from the following FAA website: www.faasafety.gov/VisualWarningSystem/VisualWarning.htm .
  3. Law Enforcement Operations by Civil and Military Organizations
    1. Special law enforcement operations
      1. Special law enforcement operations include in-flight identification, surveillance, interdiction, and pursuit activities performed in accordance with official civil and/or military mission responsibilities.
      2. To facilitate accomplishment of these special missions, exemptions from specified sections of the Federal Aviation Regulations have been granted to designated departments and agencies. However, it is each organization's responsibility to apprise air traffic control (ATC) of their intent to operate under an authorized exemption before initiating actual operations.
      3. Additionally, some departments and agencies that perform special missions have been assigned coded identifiers to permit them to apprise ATC of ongoing mission activities and solicit special air traffic assistance.

TBL ENR 1.12- 1
Intercepting Signals

INTERCEPTING SIGNALS
Signals initiated by intercepting aircraft and responses by intercepted aircraft
(as set forth in ICAO Annex 2
Appendix 1, 2.1)

Series

INTERCEPTING Aircraft Signals

Meaning

INTERCEPTED Aircraft Responds

Meaning

1

DAY-Rocking wings from a position slightly above and ahead of, and normally to the left of, the intercepted aircraft and, after acknowledgement, a slow level turn, normally to the left, on to the desired heading.
NIGHT‐Same and, in addition, flashing navigational lights at irregular intervals.
NOTE 1-Meteorological conditions or terrain may require the intercepting aircraft to take up a position slightly above and ahead of, and to the right of, the intercepted aircraft and to make the subsequent turn to the right.
NOTE 2-If the intercepted aircraft is not able to keep pace with the intercepting aircraft, the latter is expected to fly a series of race-track patterns and to rock its wings each time it passes the intercepted aircraft.

You have been intercepted. Follow me.

AEROPLANES:
DAY-Rocking wings and following.
NIGHT-Same and, in addition, flashing navigational lights at irregular intervals.
HELICOPTERS:
DAY or NIGHT-Rocking aircraft, flashing navigational lights at irregular intervals and following.

Understood, will comply.

2

DAY or NIGHT-An abrupt break-away maneuver from the intercepted aircraft consisting of a climbing turn of 90 degrees or more without crossing the line of flight of the intercepted aircraft.

You may
proceed.

AEROPLANES:
DAY or NIGHT‐Rocking wings.
HELICOPTERS:
DAY or NIGHT-Rocking aircraft.

Understood, will comply.

3

DAY-Circling aerodrome, lowering landing gear and overflying runway in direction of landing or, if the intercepted aircraft is a helicopter, overflying the helicopter landing area.
NIGHT-Same and, in addition, showing steady landing lights.

Land at this aerodrome.

AEROPLANES:
DAY-Lowering landing gear, following the intercepting aircraft and, if after overflying the runway landing is considered safe, proceeding to land.
NIGHT-Same and, in addition, showing steady landing lights (if carried).
HELICOPTERS:
DAY or NIGHT‐Following the intercepting aircraft and proceeding to land, showing a steady landing light (if carried).

Understood, will comply.

TBL ENR 1.12- 2
Intercepting Signals

INTERCEPTING SIGNALS
Signals and Responses During Aircraft Intercept
Signals initiated by intercepted aircraft and responses by intercepting aircraft

(as set forth in ICAO Annex 2
Appendix 1, 2.2)

Series

INTERCEPTED Aircraft Signals

Meaning

INTERCEPTING Aircraft Responds

Meaning

4

AEROPLANES:
DAY-Raising landing gear while passing over landing runway at a height exceeding 300m (1,000 ft) but not exceeding 600m (2,000 ft) above the aerodrome level, and continuing to circle the
aerodrome.
NIGHT-Flashing landing lights while passing over landing runway at a height exceeding 300m (1,000 ft) but not exceeding 600m (2,000 ft) above the aerodrome level, and continuing to circle the aerodrome. If unable to flash landing lights, flash any other lights available.

Aerodrome you have designated is inadequate.

DAY or NIGHT-If it is desired that the intercepted aircraft follow the intercepting aircraft to an alternate aerodrome, the intercepting aircraft raises its landing gear and uses the Series 1 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.
If it is decided to release the intercepted aircraft, the intercepting aircraft uses the Series 2 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.

Understood, follow me.

Understood, you may
proceed.

5

AEROPLANES:
DAY or NIGHT-Regular switching on and off of all available lights but in such a manner as to be distinct from flashing lights.

Cannot comply.

DAY or NIGHT‐Use Series 2 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.

Understood.

6

AEROPLANES:
DAY or NIGHT-Irregular flashing of all available lights.
HELICOPTERS:
DAY or NIGHT-Irregular flashing of all available lights.

In distress.

DAY or NIGHT‐Use Series 2 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.

Understood.