Aviation authorities designate 'national defence airspace' over Biden's current location

Decision by FAA seen as strengthened security arrangement ahead of possible Biden victory

Stuti Mishra
Thursday 05 November 2020 06:52 GMT
Joe Biden leaves the lectern after speaking on 4 November 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware
Joe Biden leaves the lectern after speaking on 4 November 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware

With final results in the US election going down to the wire, leading Democrat contender Joe Biden’s house in Wilmington, Delaware, has been marked as a restricted area for flights, along with one other location in the city.

The area has been designated as “national defence airspace” in a measure that will be applicable at least until Friday.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website, temporary flight restrictions define an area restricted to air travel due to a hazardous condition, a special event, or a general warning for the entire FAA airspace.

Although, there’s no official announcement from the FAA about the reasons behind the move, the action is being interpreted as a part of heightened security protocols before a possible Biden victory.

In 2016, “no-fly zones” were put in place around then-president-elect Donald Trump’s residence at Trump Tower in New York City and vice president-elect Mike Pence’s home in Indianapolis before they were  sworn in.

The FAA directives in 2016, officially called Notice To Airmen or NOTAM, a routine following a presidential election and extend no-fly zones that had been put in place around the homes of all four candidates, including Hillary Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York, and Tim Kaine’s home in Richmond, Virginia, for the night of the election. The no-fly zones around the homes of the losing Democratic candidates expired on the day of the last election.

Mr Biden’s possible victory has already sparked a degree of unrest and turbulence, with Mr Trump moving the Supreme Court against the counting of late ballots, calling it a “fraud on the American people”.

"We were winning in many other states and we were just about to declare it and then suddenly this fraud happened there. A fraud on the American people. And we will not let this happen," said President Trump, asserting that he would go to court and "we want all voting to stop."

The night of the elections was also marked by huge protests around the White Hose which led to security getting beefed up in the area. Thousands of protesters gathered around the fence with anti-Trump placards. Reportedly a series of protests are planned in the city in event of Mr Trump not conceding.

And a key Arizona county vote count was shut down to outside access on Wednesday night, as armed Trump supporters gathered outside in protest at the late-stage process.

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