FAA orders ground stop at 3 airports where suspected spy balloon last seen
▶ Watch Video: Fallout from suspected Chinese surveillance balloon continues, possible second balloon sighted
Arrivals to and departures from three U.S. airports has been paused while the Federal Aviation Administration issues a ground stop to “support the Department of Defense in a national security effort.”
The FAA confirmed to CBS News that flights to and from Wilmington International Airport, Myrtle Beach International Airport and Charleston International Airport have been paused until at least 2:45 p.m. on Saturday. The agency has also “closed additional airspace.”
No further information was shared.
Two U.S. officials told the Associated Press that the Biden administration is moving forward with a plan to bring down the ballon once it is above the Atlantic Ocean, where remnants could be recovered.
President Joe Biden said earlier Saturday that the United States was “gonna take care of” the balloon, but did not elaborate on what that might mean. The two U.S. officials told the Associated Press that Biden had given the operation the go-ahead.
Reports and verified photos on social media show the suspected Chinese spy balloon, which is carrying surveillance equipment and was first spotted over Montana on Thursday, was recently in the skies in the South Carolina area.
China has acknowledged that the high-altitude balloon belongs to Beijing, but has referred to it as a civilian device “used for scientific research such as meteorology” that blew off-course.
A second balloon has reportedly been sighted over Latin America.
This is a developing story and will be updated.