Flying Under the Radar: Securing Washington D.C. Airspace

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing Date: April 29, 2015 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

WASHINGTON –On Wednesday, April 29th, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing titled, “Flying Under the Radar: Securing Washington, D.C. Airspace.”  This hearing will examine how a small gyrocopter entered restricted airspace landed on the West Lawn of the Capitol.


  • On April 15, 2015, an individual was able to take off from Gettysburg, PA, and pilot a small gyrocopter through highly restricted airspace around the National Capital Region.  His course took him through northwest D.C., down the National Mall, where he ultimately landed on the West Lawn of the Capitol.  This event is reminiscent of the January 26, 2015, incident where a “quad copter” device crashed on the southeast side of the White House complex, as well as a similar device with radioactive material landing on the roof of the Japanese Prime Minister’s residence on April 22, 2015.  These events raise questions about similar manned and unmanned aircraft entering D.C.’s highly restricted airspace and threatening high value targets and individuals.
  • Given the increased production and use of small manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, the Committee is concerned about this security threat, as well as the coordinated response and mitigation efforts by federal agencies.

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Admiral William Gortney Commander NORAD/USNORTHCOM Document
Michael Huerta Administrator Federal Aviation Administration Document
Joseph Clancy Director U.S. Secret Service Document
Robert MacLean Chief U.S. Park Police Document
Kim Dine Chief of Police U.S. Capitol Police Document
Paul Irving Sergeant at Arms United States House of Representatives Document
Mr. Robert G. Salesses Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Homeland Defense Integration and Defense Support of Civil Authorities U.S. Department of Defense Document

Related Documents

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