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Drone Spotted Near LAX Touches Off Debate About Safety

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)   —  A commercial airline pilot flying near LAX spotted a drone leading to a growing debate about safety.

Authorities said they are trying to track down the drone’s owner.

CBS2’s Rachel Kim reported from LAX.

The FAA told Kim that more pilots have been reporting sightings of drones in the area.

On August 4, a Canadian jet pilot reported seeing a drone hovering about 10 miles east of LAX.

The drone was located at about 4,000 feet.

The FAA told Kim that that low altitude is out of their guidelines. But last year, the FAA issued a ruling that drones were restricted within 5 miles of airports.

The LAPD was contacted to see if the drone belonged to them. It did not, reported Kim.

The recent drone sighting has touched off a debate about safety at and around airports.

She spoke with American Airlines Captain Brian Schiff who talked about the dangers of drones.

“They’re so small,” said Schiff, “that by the time they’re were close enough for me to actually see them, once again, it’s too late. If they struck the airplane, if they struck the cockpit and broke the windshield or injured the pilots, now you have a pilot-less and remote control-less airplane that could cause casualties on the ground in addition to the passengers on the airplane.”

The FAA, police and other local law enforcement agents are trying to devise a plan to create better regulations for drones.

 

 

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