US shuts three airports amid China balloon controversy

The US aviation authorities closed three airports in the country's east on Saturday as part of a "national security effort" in response to the controversy surrounding a suspected Chinese spy balloon in US skies. 

Arrivals and departures were halted at three airports in South and North Carolina "to support the Department of Defense in a national security effort," according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration. 
The US military also shot down a Chinese balloon off the country's east coast on Saturday, according to American media, just hours after President Joe Biden vowed to "take care" of the suspected spy device. 

The operation was reported by Fox News and CNN after three southeastern airports were temporarily closed earlier in the day due to what the Federal Aviation Administration called a "national security effort." 

As a response to China's "unacceptable violation," a US fighter plane shot down a spy balloon that had been flying above the country for days, according to the Pentagon. 

"Today's deliberate and lawful action demonstrates that President (Joe) Biden and his national security team will always prioritize the safety and security of the American people while effectively responding to the PRC's unacceptable violation of our sovereignty," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

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