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FAA Briefly Declares ‘National Defense Airspace’ Over Lake Michigan

FAA Briefly Declares ‘National Defense Airspace’ Over Lake Michigan

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declared a “national defense airspace” over a portion of Lake Michigan on Sunday, temporarily closing down the area for commercial and civilian air traffic. The agency appeared to have canceled the declaration a short while later.

The FAA notice, which banned civilian air traffic from the area, was done for “national defense” reasons, according to a map monitoring FAA notices, the AFP news agency, Reuters, and Fox News. As of Sunday at around 1:15 p.m. ET, the FAA flight restriction appeared to have been lifted, according to the map.

“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, adding that the area was shut down to allow the U.S. military to examine a “potential contact” that was determined not to be a threat to any aircraft.

There were no public comments from the Pentagon as of Sunday afternoon.

The FAA has provided few details about why it set up the flight restriction, which encompassed a square area that encompassed a portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the northwestern part of the Lower Peninsula, and parts of Wisconsin. The agency did not immediately respond to an Epoch Times request for comment Sunday.

“Pilots who do not adhere to the following [procedure] may be intercepted, detained and interview by law enforcement or security personnel,” the FAA also said Sunday about the Lake Michigan restriction, adding that pilots who enter could face deadly force, according to Fox News.

A number of large U.S. cities are located along Lake Michigan, including Chicago; Milwaukee; Gary, Indiana; and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The closure of the airspace follows the shootdown by U.S. aircraft of a Chinese spy balloon and two unidentified flying objects. The two unidentified objects were taken down over Alaska and northern Canada on Friday and Saturday, while officials have provided few details about them.

Canadian investigators are hunting for the wreckage of the mysterious flying object shot down by a U.S. fighter jet over Yukon territory, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), citing White House adviser Jake Sullivan, said that officials believe both objects were also balloons, albeit smaller than the one shot down near the South Carolina coast a week ago.

Also Saturday, the FAA and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) restricted a portion of Montana’s airspace after a “radar anomaly” was discovered. However, Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) on Sunday wrote that it may not have been simply a radar issue.

“I am in constant communication with NORCOM 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,” Rosendale wrote on Twitter Sunday afternoon. He did not provide additional details.

Meanwhile, in a routine move, the FAA and NORAD set up a restricted airspace zone over Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona, for Sunday’s Super Bowl game.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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