Airspace breach shuts Capitol
Pilot lands at National; evacuation on holiday affects relatively few
The U.S. Capitol complex was evacuated Saturday afternoon when an aircraft entered restricted space, prompting a 30-minute shutdown of the Senate and House buildings.
CapitolPolicecontactedthepilot of the errant aircraft, which landed safely at Reagan National Airport. Capitol Police and the Transportation Security Administration are investigating the incident.
Much of the Capitol complex is empty because lawmakers and staffers are away for the holidays. The Capitol Visitor Center, where tourists flock, was closed on New Year’s Day. Congress reconvenes onWednesday.
The evacuation follows a brief shutdown Dec. 16. That incident involved a suspect who approached a Capitol Police officer, acted aggressively and suggested that he had a weapon.
Police subdued the suspect, took him into custody and charged him with assault on a police officer. No weapon was recoveredandtheshutdownextended only a fewminutes.