LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — State representatives on Wednesday addressed the ongoing problem of drones interfering with firefighting efforts.
Firefighters explained the use of civilian unmanned aircraft systems, also referred to as drones, can potentially cause pilots to lose control and potentially crash.
Accidents of this nature would cause planes to injure civilians on the ground.
“We want to remind drone operators (that) if you fly, we can’t,” LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said.
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to “incorporate measures directed at preventing the operation of drones in a manner that interferes with first responders.”
Schiff, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas and L.A. City Council members Herb Wesson and Mitchell Englander are investigating ways to prevent the interference with firefighting efforts in Southern California.
A press conference was held at City Hall East in downtown Los Angeles.
“We need to update our laws at all levels of government to make sure that we reflect the new reality,” Assemblyman Mike Gatto said.
A motion is set to be introduced that would ensure drones cannot be used over emergency situations or within five miles of an airport within the Los Angeles city limits.
“We’ve got to figure out a way to exist together,” LA City Council President Herb Wesson said.
Many drone operators agree with Wesson’s claim.
“Absolutely (I welcome regulation), it should be regulated,” drone store owner Justin Henderson said. “I mean everything is regulated, and this just happens to be something that, the technology is growing faster than the laws, so we’re just now catching up, but it’s been a long time coming.”