WASHINGTON – President Biden was briefly evacuated Saturday from his beach home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., After a small private plane accidentally flew into restricted airspace, according to White House and Secret Service officials.
Mr. Biden arrived in Rehoboth Beach on Thursday evening and is scheduled to return to the White House on Sunday. Officials said the president was not in danger during the incident.
A White House official told reporters that Mr. Biden and the first lady were briefly evacuated and then returned to their residence.
“A small private plane entered restricted airspace, all indications are by mistake, and precautionary measures were taken,” the official said. “There was no threat to the president or his family.”
Steve Kopek, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said the plane entered restricted airspace shortly before 1 pm Saturday.
“The aircraft was immediately escorted out of the restricted airspace,” Mr. Kopek said in a statement. He did not provide more details, but several people in the area tweeted that they saw two military jets flying overhead around the same time.
Officials did not provide details about Mr. Biden’s evacuation. But there were public reports that his motorcade was seen driving into a local fire station Saturday afternoon, and then seen leaving the station about a half-hour later. Rehoboth Avenue, a main commercial artery, was shut down briefly, people said on Twitter.
Officials said only that precautions were taken.
Mr. Kopek said that it appeared that the pilot of the small plane was unaware of the president’s presence in Delaware and of the airspace restrictions that came along with it.
“Preliminary investigation reveals the pilot was not on the proper radio channel, was not following the NOTAMS (Notice to Airmen) that had been filed and was not following published flight guidance,” he said in the statement. “The United States Secret Service will be interviewing the pilot.”
Mr. Biden owns a $ 2.7 million beach home in the North Shores, a wealthy neighborhood one mile north of town. He purchased the home in 2017 and frequently uses it for vacations and for brief weekend visits.