Drones: If You Fly, Firefighting Aircraft Can't
Posted by Councilmember Englander on August 14, 2015 at 12:00 PM
This Wednesday, I joined Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA28), Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-43), Council President Herb Wesson and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas at a press conference to educate the public about the dangers of drone use over wildfires.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) known as drones have become increasingly popular and affordable. It is estimated that over 2 million drones sold last year alone with drone sales increasing each year. As their numbers have increased, so too have the impacts associated with them. Often, operators of these devices fly them in dangerous ways such as operating them over crowds or in the flight paths of manned aircraft.
Recent reports have documented UAS being operated over wildfires interfering with fire suppression as well as commercial aircraft in their approach to LAX. Fire departments across the state have been forced to stop or postpone air drops on fires, severely hampering fire suppression efforts.
It is important to educate the public about drone operation. Using a drone over forest fires pose a threat to the safety of aircrews of manned firefighting aircraft. A midair collision with a drone can crash a helicopter or aircraft.
Click video to watch the FOX 11 story...
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District