CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) will conduct aerial radiation measurements in Charlotte ahead of the Republican National Convention.
Low-altitude helicopter flights will be conducted over downtown Charlotte and areas in and around Yorkmount on Wednesday, August 19.
Additional flights may occur through Monday, August 24, to secure the RNC in preparation for the upcoming convention.
The RNC will take place from Aug. 24-27.
NNSA’s Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) aircraft will measure naturally occurring background radiation as part of standard preparations to protect public health and safety on the day of the event.
Local residents may see a twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, which is equipped with sensitive, state-of-the-art passive radiation sensing technology.
The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the areas at 150 feet (or higher) above the ground at a speed of approximately 80 mph.
Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours and are estimated to take approximately two hours to complete per area.
The aircraft measurements will be purely scientific in nature, and no surveillance or other form of monitoring will occur during these flights.
The aerial surveys are a normal part of security and emergency preparedness activities. NNSA is making the public aware of the upcoming flights so citizens who see the low-flying aircraft are not alarmed.