Capitol Briefly Put on Alert by Another Aircraft

Posted March 12, 2008 at 12:17pm

An unauthorized aircraft entered the Capitol’s restricted airspace this afternoon and left minutes later, marking the second time in a week that the Capitol has been put on heightened alert.

Capitol Police did not evacuate the building, but, like last week, there are reports of some Members leaving when told of the code orange alert. Code orange is a step below full mandatory evacuation.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said in a statement that the incident is under investigation.

“The aircraft has been redirected and has landed outside of the restricted area and law enforcement officials continue to investigate,” she said. “At this time, we are back to normal.”

The aircraft landed in Leesburg, Va.

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer said last week that there have been about three code oranges this year.

— Emily Yehle