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FAA Briefly Paused U.S. West Coast Flights Around Time of North Korea Launch

FAA Briefly Paused U.S. West Coast Flights Around Time of North Korea Launch

Biden administration imposes first sanctions over North Korea weapons program.

Since last week, North Korea has conducted two more missile tests. Subsequently, the Biden administration issued its first sanctions directed at the continued launches.

“Today’s actions, part of the United States’ ongoing efforts to counter (North Korea’s) weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, target its continued use of overseas representatives to illegally procure goods for weapons,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement.

North Korea’s “latest missile launches are further evidence that it continues to advance prohibited programs despite the international community’s calls for diplomacy and denuclearization,” he added.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement later Wednesday that in addition to the individuals and entities that the Treasury Department had imposed sanctions on, his department was placing sanctions on “one (North Korean) individual, one Russian individual, and one Russian entity that have engaged in activities or transactions that have materially contributed to the proliferation of (weapons of mass destruction) or their means of delivery by (North Korea).”

The FAA briefly paused West Coast flights during the last test, including commercial air travel.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that it briefly paused departures at some West Coast airports Monday evening, a precaution that occurred near the same time as a North Korean ballistic missile launch.

It’s unclear if the two events were connected.

The FAA said on Tuesday it “regularly takes precautionary measures. We are reviewing the process around this ground stop as we do after all such events.”

The pause lasted about 15 minutes and impacted airports across the West Coast.

A number of West Coast airports confirmed the afternoon ground stop, including California facilities in San Diego, Ontario, and Oakland; and Oregon’s Portland International.

NBC affiliate KCRA of Sacramento reported ground stops in California’s capital as well as in San Francisco.

A San Diego International Airport spokeswoman said airport workers were informed by an air traffic control official a little after 2:30 p.m. PT of a ground stop, but were told it was lifted around 5 to 7 minutes later.

A spokesman at Ontario International Airport, in San Bernardino County, California, said that the stop “was initiated and rescinded within 3 minutes this afternoon so it never went into play.”

The radio messaging is reminiscent of the dialogues on September 11, 2001.

LiveATC air traffic control recordings of the Burbank Airport in California detail a controller telling a Southwest flight “there’s ground stops all departures, all airports right now. The message we got is it’s until further notice.”

Another recording of the control tower frequency in Hillsboro, Oregon, captures the controller telling the pilot of a Cessna to land, saying “we just got a notice that we need to do a national ground stop.”

2022 is certainly starting to be a chilling year, and the weather is only a tiny part of it.


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I’m to the point of shit or get off the pot with NK. Get it over with so your scuzzy little hilltops can finally be razed.

If we have tech to shoot these down we should do so, if not, then we should send tests their way, with a large thermobaric weapon.

The odds are incredibly against harming aircraft in flight, and anyway are not changed from hitting you on the ground by grounding you. So the FAA is nuts.

    henrybowman in reply to rhhardin. | January 13, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    The theory is that airborne craft are 100% exposed to any burst within visual range, whereas people on the ground can likely find hardcover to hide behind or under.

    Of course, if they kept these people in idling planes on the tarmac, it’s all just “safety theatre.”

    henrybowman in reply to rhhardin. | January 13, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    (Also, EMP from a burst could turn a plane into a meteor pretty quickly.)

(Also, EMP from a burst could turn a plane into a meteor pretty quickly.)


Along with other things that don’t belong here, Roni Spector is now dead. God, she was a sweatheart. Her death only rings a bell because I used to hang out at the same bar with Eddie Money.

Asshole died owing me money. I thought he could return the favor for a free drink.