The Federal Aviation Administration is taking responsibility for Wednesday night’s mishap involving the Army Golden Knights that resulted in the US Capitol being evacuated.
“We deeply regret that we contributed to a precautionary evacuation of the Capitol complex and apologize for the disruption and fear experienced by those who work there,” the FAA said in a statement released on Friday.
The incident was tied to a military appreciation demonstration at Washington’s Nationals Park. A Golden Knights pilot communicated plans to drop the parachutists, including the specific direction they were planning to fly, to an air traffic control tower at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. US Capitol Police, however, were not notified, and a “probable threat” warning was issued at the Capitol complex, prompting an evacuation order.
The FAA apologized for not notifying the US Capitol Police in advance and said it is “taking immediate steps” to fix the problem in order to avoid future confusion.
The FAA previously promised a “thorough and expeditious review” of the events.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had previously slammed the FAA for its role in the incident.
“The Federal Aviation Administration’s apparent failure to notify Capitol Police of the pre-planned flyover Nationals Stadium is outrageous and inexcusable,” the California Democrat said on Wednesday. “The unnecessary panic caused by this apparent negligence was particularly harmful for Members, staff and institutional workers still grappling with the trauma of the attack on their workplace on January 6th.”