WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will conduct low-altitude helicopter flights over the Las Vegas Strip Thursday, Dec. 29 and Saturday, Dec. 31 in preparation for the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
NNSA’s Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) aircraft will measure expected background radiation as part of standard preparations to protect public health and safety on the day of an event.
The public may see NNSA’s twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, which is equipped with 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.
These 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.
NEST is part of NNSA’s Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation Program and is an element of the Nation’s nuclear or radiological emergency response capability.