NORAD scrambled 6 fighter jets after ‘unruly customer’ makes threats on Canada-to-Cuba flight

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
July 7, 2017US News
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NORAD scrambled 6 fighter jets after ‘unruly customer’ makes threats on Canada-to-Cuba flight
Two F-15 fighter jets intercepted a Canadian passenger get while four more were scrambled after an unruly passenger made nonspecific threats on a Cuba-bound flight from Canada. (File Photo/U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers)

Two F-15 fighter jets were scrambled from Barnes Air National Guard Base on Thursday, July 6, to intercept a Canadian commercial flight en route to Cuba.

Four other jets were dispatched from Canada and the United States but did not join the two F-15s as they escorted the flight back to Montreal.

A statement from the airline, Canadian discount carrier Sunwing, attributes the incident to “an unruly customer making nonspecific threats.”

A NORAD representative said he could not discuss the criteria that would launch a NORAD intercept but confirmed two F-15s were dispatched from their base in Barnes, Massachusetts, under the direction of NORAD.

“We intercepted them while they were over U.S. air space,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Chase McFarland. “The NORAD aircraft did escort that commercial flight back to Montreal, and it landed approximately at 7:22pm.”

Four other jets were also scrambled, said McFarland.

Two F-16s were pushed out from Atlantic City, New Jersey, but never intercepted the flight, said McFarland.

There were also two CF-18s scrambled from CFB Bagotville, Quebec.

“They did not intercept, they just monitored from a distance and maintained ready to respond until or  if required,” said McFarland.

After returning to Montreal’s Dorval airport, the flight to Cayo Coco, Cuba, was rescheduled.

According to Sunwing, the passengers were given accommodations and meal vouchers until their flight could take off at 8:37 a.m. local time the next day.

“We have also compensated them for the inconvenience caused. We regret this delayed start to their vacations,” said the airline.

NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense Command, provides a platform for U.S.-Canadian shared aerospace defense and coordination.

While it does not maintain its own assets, it does provide rapid and effective cooperation between the two nation’s militaries and combined assets.

That cooperation allows both countries better warning, detection, and defense capability.

In 2006, the NORAD Agreement was renewed and expanded to include a maritime warning mission.

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