A low-flying Russian spy plane was spotted Wednesday over parts of Washington, D.C., and Bedminster, New Jersey, where President Trump is vacationing at his Trump National Golf Course - but the flight had been approved under a long-standing global treaty, officials said.
Sources told CNN the plane will also fly over Bedminster, N.J., where President Donald Trump is vacationing, the Trump National Golf Course in Virginia, the presidential retreat Camp David and Mount Weather, one of the USA government's secret relocation bunkers.
The recent flight is scheduled to be followed by another one over US President Donald Trump's property in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is now vacationing.
Besides Russia and the United States, 32 other nations have signed the treaty, which is aimed at fostering transparency about military activity, reducing mistrust and misunderstandings, and facilitating the monitoring of arms control agreements.
The flight, which created a stir in USA media and political circles, was part of a long-standing program of surveillance under the Open Skies Treaty that allows both nations to fly unarmed observation planes over each other's territory.
The Russian plane, a Tupolev Tu-154M, which is akin to civilian airliner, flew at about 3,700 feet and has the ability to take aerial photographs, conduct thermal imaging, and can even gather intelligence signals, CNN said.
One of the officials said the Russian jet flew through the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) airspace that was established around the golf club.More news: Stephen Colbert Says Anthony Scaramucci Will Guest On The Late Show
The entire territory of a nation is fair game, although nations get advanced notice of flight plans. "It's a mutually agreed process".
Thirty-four nations are signatories to the treaty.
There have been 1,200 flights since the 2002 Open Skies Treaty was entered into.
"The United States is notified ahead of time of the intended flight path of observation flights, participates in the development of agreed flight plans, has US observers on the aircraft during the flight, and receives a copy of the imagery taken by the Russian aircraft at the conclusion of the mission", she stressed.
Air Force personnel were on board, according to CNN.
"The aircraft will be large and may fly directly over the U.S. Capitol", stated the alert.
Per instructions in the Open Skies Treaty, the aircraft flown on the missions use specific film equipment aboard the planes to take aerial photos.