FAA briefly halted some U.S. West Coast flights around time of N.Korea launch

A Southwest Airlines plane approaches to land at San Diego International Airport as U.S. telecom companies, airlines and the FAA continue to discuss the potential impact of 5G wireless services on aircraft electronics in San Diego, California, U.S., January 6, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday said it briefly halted departures at some West Coast airports on Monday around the time of reports that North Korea had launched a ballistic missile.

A U.S. official told Reuters the FAA paused some West Coast operations for less than 15 minutes "due to initial reports of events in the Indo-Pacific region," without directly tying it to the missile launch. Earlier on Tuesday, the United States condemned North Korea for a ballistic missile launch, saying it violates multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to its neighbors and the world.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) did not issue any warning following the launch, a spokesperson said.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command assessed the launch did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or U.S. allies.

The ground stop occurred around 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time, according to published reports and live air traffic control communications.

The FAA added Tuesday it "regularly takes precautionary measures. We are reviewing the process around this ground stop as we do after all such events."

Reporting by David Shepardson and Phil Stewart; editing by Grant McCool

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