A U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman said that “in an abundance of caution … access to Capitol Complex buildings was restricted for a short time.” A D.C. police spokeswoman said the alert involved an aircraft.
North American Aerospace Defense Command officials initially said they scrambled aircraft to respond to a violation of airspace, adding that the aircraft was not considered hostile.
But on Tuesday afternoon, Maj. Andrew Hennessy, a U.S. military spokesman, said no fighter jets were scrambled in the incident.
Hennessy said NORAD dispatched a single Coast Guard helicopter to respond to something flying a “track of interest” over Washington’s Special Flight Rules Area, which restricts air traffic over the region as a security measure. The helicopter crew found nothing of concern and the event was considered resolved without incident, Hennessy said.
The lockdowns were lifted about 9:15 a.m. Hennessy said it wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the initial concern.