FAA ground stop for Chinese spy balloon shootdown results in massive flight radar gap off South Carolina coast
The United States military shot down the balloon on Saturday afternoon
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop order Saturday closing several airports in North and South Carolina and causing a massive gap on flight radars shortly before a Chinese spy balloon was shot down by the U.S. military.
The FAA closed airspace in parts of North and South Carolina and at three airports effective until 2:45 E.T. citing "national security initiatives" in the area.
The order to halt flights created a massive gap over the ocean on flight tracking websites such as FlightRadar24.
"The FAA has paused departures from and arrivals to Wilmington (ILM), Myrtle Beach International (MYR) and Charleston International (CHS) airports. The agency has also closed additional airspace," an FAA spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
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Shortly after the order was issued, Fox News Digital confirmed that the Chinese spy balloon was shot down.
While the balloon was off the coast of South Carolina, the balloon was shot down by the U.S. military on Saturday afternoon, according to Fox News sources.
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The Biden administration has faced strong criticism from Republicans and political commentators for waiting several days to shoot down the balloon as it made its way across the United States while possibly surveilling sensitive military sites.
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Biden military officials said that they were hesitant to shoot down the balloon over land due to the possibility of injuring people on the ground.