National security in the control of air
traffic is governed by 14 CFR Part 99.
All aircraft entering domestic U.S.
airspace from points outside must provide for
identification prior to entry. To facilitate early
aircraft identification of all aircraft in the vicinity of
U.S. and international airspace boundaries, Air Defense
Identification Zones (ADIZ) have been established.
AIM, ADIZ Boundaries and Designated Mountainous Areas,
requirements for aircraft operations associated with an
ADIZ are as follows:
1. Flight Plan.
Except as specified in subparagraphs
d and e below, an IFR or DVFR flight plan must be filed
with an appropriate aeronautical facility as follows:
Generally, for all operations that
enter an ADIZ.
For operations that will enter or exit
the U.S. and which will operate into, within or across
the Contiguous U.S. ADIZ regardless of true airspeed.
The flight plan must be filed before
departure except for operations associated with the
Alaskan ADIZ when the airport of departure has no
facility for filing a flight plan, in which case the
flight plan may be filed immediately after takeoff or
when within range of the aeronautical facility.
2. Two-way Radio.
For the majority of operations
associated with an ADIZ, an operating two-way radio is
required. See 14 CFR Section 99.1 for exceptions.
Requirements. Unless otherwise
authorized by ATC, each aircraft conducting operations
into, within, or across the Contiguous U.S. ADIZ must be
equipped with an operable radar beacon transponder
having altitude reporting capability (Mode C), and that
transponder must be turned on and set to reply on the
appropriate code or as assigned by ATC.
4. Position Reporting.
(a) For IFR flight.
Normal IFR position
(b) For DVFR
flights. The estimated time
of ADIZ penetration must be filed with the
aeronautical facility at least 15 minutes prior to
penetration except for flight in the Alaskan ADIZ, in
which case report prior to penetration.
(c) For inbound
aircraft of foreign registry.
The pilot must report to the aeronautical facility at
least one hour prior to ADIZ penetration.
5. Aircraft Position
Over land, the tolerance is within plus
or minus five minutes from the estimated time over a
reporting point or point of penetration and within 10
NM from the centerline of an intended track over an
estimated reporting point or penetration point.
Over water, the tolerance is plus or
minus five minutes from the estimated time over a
reporting point or point of penetration and within 20
NM from the centerline of the intended track over an
estimated reporting point or point of penetration (to
include the Aleutian Islands).
d. Except when
applicable under 14 CFR Section 99.7, 14 CFR Part 99 does
not apply to aircraft operations:
Within the 48 contiguous states and the
District of Columbia, or within the State of Alaska, and
remains within 10 miles of the point of departure;
Over any island, or within three nautical
miles of the coastline of any island, in the Hawaii ADIZ;
Associated with any ADIZ other than the
Contiguous U.S. ADIZ, when the aircraft true airspeed is
less than 180 knots.
Authorizations to deviate from the
requirements of Part 99 may also be granted by the ARTCC,
on a local basis, for some operations associated with an
An airfiled VFR Flight Plan makes an
aircraft subject to interception for positive
identification when entering an ADIZ. Pilots are,
therefore, urged to file the required DVFR flight plan
either in person or by telephone prior to departure.
g. Special Security
During defense emergency or air defense
emergency conditions, additional special security
instructions may be issued in accordance with the
Security Control of Air Traffic and Air Navigation Aids
Under the provisions of the SCATANA Plan,
the military will direct the action to be taken-in
regard to landing, grounding, diversion, or dispersal of
aircraft and the control of air navigation aids in the
defense of the U.S. during emergency conditions.
At the time a portion or all of SCATANA
is implemented, ATC facilities will broadcast
appropriate instructions received from the military over
available ATC frequencies. Depending on instructions
received from the military, VFR flights may be directed
to land at the nearest available airport, and IFR
flights will be expected to proceed as directed by ATC.
Pilots on the ground may be required to
file a flight plan and obtain an approval (through FAA)
prior to conducting flight operation.
In view of the above, all pilots should
guard an ATC or FSS frequency at all times while
conducting flight operations.
Identification intercepts during
peacetime operations are vastly different than those
conducted under increased states of readiness. Unless
otherwise directed by the control agency, intercepted
aircraft will be identified by type only. When specific
information is required (i.e. markings, serial numbers,
etc.) the interceptor aircrew will respond only if the
request can be conducted in a safe manner. During hours
of darkness or Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC),
identification of unknown aircraft will be by type only.
The interception pattern described below is the typical
peacetime method used by air interceptor aircrews. In
all situations, the interceptor aircrew will use caution
to avoid startling the intercepted aircrew and/or
b. Intercept phases (See
1. Phase One- Approach
intercepted aircraft will be approached from the stern.
Generally two interceptor aircraft will be employed to
accomplish the identification. The flight leader and
wingman will coordinate their individual positions in
conjunction with the ground controlling agency. Their
relationship will resemble a line abreast formation. At
night or in IMC, a comfortable radar trail tactic will
be used. Safe vertical separation between interceptor
aircraft and unknown aircraft will be maintained at all
2. Phase Two-
The intercepted aircraft
should expect to visually acquire the lead interceptor
and possibly the wingman during this phase in visual
meteorological conditions (VMC). The wingman will assume
a surveillance position while the flight leader
approaches the unknown aircraft. Intercepted aircraft
personnel may observe the use of different drag devices
to allow for speed and position stabilization during
this phase. The flight leader will then initiate a
gentle closure toward the intercepted aircraft, stopping
at a distance no closer than absolutely necessary to
obtain the information needed. The interceptor aircraft
will use every possible precaution to avoid startling
intercepted aircrew or passengers. Additionally, the
interceptor aircrews will constantly keep in mind that
maneuvers considered normal to a fighter aircraft may be
considered hazardous to passengers and crews of
nonfighter aircraft. When interceptor aircrews know or
believe that an unsafe condition exists, the
identification phase will be terminated. As previously
stated, during darkness or IMC identification of unknown
aircraft will be by type only. Positive vertical
separation will be maintained by interceptor aircraft
throughout this phase.
3. Phase Three- Post
Upon identification phase
completion, the flight leader will turn away from the
intercepted aircraft. The wingman will remain well clear
and accomplish a rejoin with the leader.
Communication interface between interceptor
aircrews and the ground controlling agency is essential to
ensure successful intercept completion. Flight Safety is
paramount. An aircraft which is intercepted by another
aircraft shall immediately:
Follow the instructions given by the
intercepting aircraft, interpreting and responding to
the visual signals.
Notify, if possible, the appropriate air
traffic services unit.
Attempt to establish radio communication
with the intercepting aircraft or with the appropriate
intercept control unit, by making a general call on the
emergency frequency 243.0 MHz and repeating this call on
the emergency frequency 121.5 MHz, if practicable,
giving the identity and position of the aircraft and the
nature of the flight.
If equipped with SSR transponder, select
Mode 3/A Code 7700, unless otherwise instructed by the
appropriate air traffic services unit. If any
instructions received by radio from any sources conflict
with those given by the intercepting aircraft by visual
or radio signals, the intercepted aircraft shall request
immediate clarification while continuing to comply with
the instructions given by the intercepting aircraft.
Law Enforcement Operations by Civil and Military
a. Special law
Special law enforcement operations
include in-flight identification, surveillance,
interdiction, and pursuit activities performed in
accordance with official civil and/or military mission
To facilitate accomplishment of these
special missions, exemptions from specified sections of
the CFR's have been granted to designated departments
and agencies. However, it is each organization's
responsibility to apprise ATC of their intent to operate
under an authorized exemption before initiating actual
Additionally, some departments and
agencies that perform special missions have been
assigned coded identifiers to permit them to apprise ATC
of ongoing mission activities and solicit special air
TBL 5-6-1 and TBL 5-6-2.
Signals initiated by intercepting aircraft and
responses by intercepted aircraft
(as set forth in ICAO Annex 2-Appendix A, 2.1)
DAY-Rocking wings from
a position slightly above and ahead of, and normally
to the left of, the intercepted aircraft and, after
acknowledgement, a slow level turn, normally to the
left, on to the desired heading.
NIGHT-Same and, in addition, flashing navigational
lights at irregular intervals.
NOTE 1-Meteorological conditions or terrain may
require the intercepting aircraft to take up a
position slightly above and ahead of, and to the right
of, the intercepted aircraft and to make the
subsequent turn to the right.
NOTE 2-If the intercepted aircraft is not able to keep
pace with the intercepting aircraft, the latter is
expected to fly a series of race-track patterns and to
rock its wings each time it passes the intercepted
You have been
intercepted. Follow me.
DAY-Rocking wings and following.
NIGHT-Same and, in addition, flashing
navigational lights at irregular intervals.
DAY or NIGHT-Rocking aircraft, flashing navigational
lights at irregular intervals and following.
DAY or NIGHT-An abrupt
break-away maneuver from the intercepted aircraft
consisting of a climbing turn of 90 degrees or more
without crossing the line of flight of the intercepted
DAY or NIGHT-Rocking wings.
DAY or NIGHT-Rocking aircraft.
lowering landing gear and overflying runway in
direction of landing or, if the intercepted aircraft
is a helicopter, overflying the helicopter landing
NIGHT-Same and, in addition, showing steady landing
Land at this aerodrome.
DAY-Lowering landing gear, following the intercepting
aircraft and, if after overflying the runway landing
is considered safe, proceeding to land.
NIGHT-Same and, in addition, showing steady landing
lights (if carried).
DAY or NIGHT-Following the intercepting aircraft and
proceeding to land, showing a steady landing light (if
Signals and Responses During Aircraft Intercept
Signals initiated by intercepted aircraft and
responses by intercepting aircraft
(as set forth in ICAO Annex 2-Appendix A, 2.2)
DAY or NIGHT-Raising
landing gear (if fitted) and flashing landing lights
while passing over runway in use or helicopter landing
area at a height exceeding 300m (1,000 ft) but not
exceeding 600m (2,000 ft) (in the case of a
helicopter, at a height exceeding 50m (170 ft) but not
exceeding 100m (330 ft) above the aerodrome level, and
continuing to circle runway in use or helicopter
landing area. If unable to flash landing lights, flash
any other lights available.
Aerodrome you have
designated is inadequate.
DAY or NIGHT-If it is
desired that the intercepted aircraft follow the
intercepting aircraft to an alternate aerodrome, the
intercepting aircraft raises its landing gear (if
fitted) and uses the Series 1 signals prescribed for
If it is decided to release the intercepted aircraft,
the intercepting aircraft uses the Series 2 signals
prescribed for intercepting aircraft.
Understood, follow me.
Understood, you may
DAY or NIGHT-Regular
switching on and off of all available lights but in
such a manner as to be distinct from flashing lights.
DAY or NIGHT-Use Series
2 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.
DAY or NIGHT-Irregular
flashing of all available lights.
DAY or NIGHT-Use Series
2 signals prescribed for intercepting aircraft.
Boundaries and Designated Mountainous Areas
(See FIG 5-6-2.)
Identification Zone Boundaries
Designated Mountainous Areas