Fri, 19 Aug 2022

WASHINGTON D.C.: After a security scare last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) apologized for failing to notify the U.S. Capitol Police about a nearby airplane flight that featured a parachute demonstration.

The single-engine plane flying the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute demonstration team over a baseball game near the U.S. Capitol was mistaken by officials for a potential security threat.

In disclosing its initial findings, the FAA said, "We did not provide advance notification of this event to the U.S. Capitol Police. We deeply regret that we contributed to a precautionary evacuation of the Capitol complex and apologize for the disruption and fear experienced by those who work there."

Earlier, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the FFA for what she said was an "outrageous and frightening mistake," for failing to alert Capitol Police to the pre-planned performance over the Washington Nationals baseball stadium.

Following the incident, the FAA said it is "taking immediate steps to ensure that we always coordinate well in advance with other agencies to avoid confusion over future aviation events in the Washington D.C. area."

An internal review is continuing, it added, pledging to "take any additional steps necessary to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future."

During the incident, the U.S. Capitol Police first announced they were tracking an aircraft that posed a "probable threat" to the Capitol complex, but soon said there was no threat.

On the same day, Pelosi said Congress would review the incident to learn who at the FAA "will be held accountable for this outrageous and frightening mistake."

In an email sent to the Congressional staff seen by Reuters, Capitol Police said, it "will be working with our airspace partners to address the notification issues."

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