Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword or section
Like this

Table Of Contents

0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
9-11Commission Hearing 2004-06-17

9-11Commission Hearing 2004-06-17

|Views: 15|Likes:
Published by jrod

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: jrod on Apr 28, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





MR. KEAN: Good morning. As Chair of the Commission on theTerrorist Attacks on the United States I hereby reconvene thistwelfth public hearing. Today we will explore the federalgovernment's immediate response to the terrorist attacks ofSeptember 11th, 2001. We'll present a comprehensive picture ofwhen the hijackings occurred, when air traffic controllerslearned of the hijackings, when this information wascommunicated up the line, when military commanders and civilianleaders made decisions, what decisions were made, and how thosedecisions were communicated and implemented.So I will call at this point upon Phil Zelikow to start outthe Staff Statement.MR.ZELIKOW: Thank you. Members of the Commission, with yourhelp, your staff is prepared to present its findings regardingnational defense and crisis management on 9/11. Our findingsrepresent the result of our work to date. We remain ready torevise our understanding in light of new information. Thisstatement represents the collective effort of a number ofmembers of the staff. John Farmer, Miles Kara, Dana Hyde, JohnAzzarello, Kevin Shaeffer, Steve Dunne, Geoffrey Brown, LisaSullivan, and Cate Taylor did most of the investigative workreflected in this report. In addition, Charles Pereira of theNational Transportation Safety Board assisted greatly in thereconstruction and interpretation of flight data. We aregrateful to the NTSB for its assistance and cooperation. Wewould also like to acknowledge the assistance of theEnvironmental Systems Research Institute in preparing the visualcomponents of this presentation.In the course of this investigation, we have receiveddocuments and other information from the Executive Office of thePresident, and the Departments of Defense, Transportation, andHomeland Security. Unless otherwise noted, all times given arerounded to the nearest minute. None of the audio excerpts you
will hear this morning are derived from cockpit voice recorders,disclosure of which is prevented by federal law.The FAA and NORAD. On 9/11, the defense of U.S. air spacedepended on close interaction between two federal agencies: theFAA and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).The last hijacking that involved U.S. air traffic controllers,FAA management, and military coordination, had occurred in 1993.In order to understand how the two agencies interacted eightyears later, we will review their missions, command-and-controlstructures, and working relationship on the morning of 9/11.FAA Mission and Structure. As of September 11, 2001, the FAAwas mandated by law to regulate the safety and security of civilaviation. From an air traffic controller's perspective, thatmeant maintaining a safe distance between airborne aircraft.Many controllers work at the FAA's 22 Air Route Traffic ControlCenters. These centers are grouped under regional offices andcoordinate closely with the national Air Traffic Control SystemCommand Center, commonly referred to as the "Command Center,"which oversees daily traffic flow within the entire airspacesystem. That Command Center is located in Herndon, Virginia.Regional offices report to FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.FAA headquarters is ultimately responsible for the management ofthe National Airspace System. An operations center located atFAA headquarters receives notifications of incidents, includingaccidents and hijackings.FAA centers often receive information and make operationaldecisions independent of one another. On 9/11, the four hijackedaircraft were monitored mainly by four of these FAA Air RouteTraffic Control Centers, based in Boston, New York, Clevelandand Indianapolis. Each center thus had part of the knowledge ofwhat was going on across the system. But it is important toremember that what Boston Center knew was not necessarily knownby the centers in New York, Cleveland or Indianapolis.Controllers track airliners like the four aircraft hijackedon 9/11 primarily by watching the data from a signal emitted bythe aircraft's transponder equipment. The four aircraft hijackedon 9/11, like all aircraft traveling above 10,000 feet, wererequired to emit a unique transponder signal while in flight. On9/11, the terrorists turned off the transponders on three of thefour hijacked aircraft. With the transponder turned off, it maybe possible, although more difficult, to track an aircraft byits primary radar returns. A primary radar return occurs whenthe signal sent from a radar site bounces off an object in the
sky and indicates the presence of that object. But primary radarreturns do not include the transponder data, which show theaircraft's identity and altitude. Controllers at centers rely ontransponder signals and usually do not display primary radarreturns on their scopes. But they can change the configurationof their radar scopes so they can see primary radar returns. Andin fact, the controllers did just that on 9/11 when thetransponders were turned off in three of the four hijackedaircraft. Tower or terminal approach controllers handle a widervariety of lower-flying aircraft; they often use primary radarreturns as well as transponder signals.NORAD Mission and Structure. NORAD was, and is, responsiblefor the air defense of the continental United States. The threatof Soviet bombers diminished significantly after the end of theCold War, and the number of NORAD alert sites were reduced. On9/11 there were only seven left in the United States, each withtwo fighter aircraft on alert. All the hijacked aircraft were inone of NORAD's Continental U.S. sectors, the Northeast AirDefense Sector, also known as NEADS. NEADS is based in Rome, NewYork. On 9/11, it could call on two alert sites, each with onepair of ready fighters. These were the Otis Air National GuardBase in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Langley Air Force Base inLangley, Virginia (sic). NEADS reported to the continentalregion headquarters in Florida, which reported to NORADheadquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Most FAA centers hada civilian employee to coordinate with NORAD, for situationslike training exercises. The agencies had also developedprotocols for working together in the event of a hijacking. Asthey existed on 9/11, the protocols for the FAA to obtainmilitary assistance from NORAD required multiple levels ofnotification and approval at the highest levels of government,as I think you can see graphically depicted by that complicatedchart.FAA guidance to controllers on hijack procedures assumed thatthe aircraft pilot would notify the controller of the hijack viaradio communication or by squawking a transponder code of “7500”-- the universal code for a hijack in progress. Controllerswould notify their supervisors, who in turn would informmanagement all the way up to FAA headquarters in Washington.Headquarters then had a hijack coordinator who was the directoror his designate of the FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security.If a hijack was confirmed, procedures called for the hijackcoordinator to contact the Pentagon's National Military CommandCenter, NMCC, and ask for a military escort aircraft to followthe flight, report anything unusual, and aid search and rescue

Activity (5)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Bea liked this
Bea liked this
Bea liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->