Says laser strikes, drones may pose threat to flights

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A plan to bring the Rams back to Los Angeles may already be in the end zone, but one aviation analyst is warning the location of a proposed stadium in Inglewood may not be the best play after all.

League owners voted Tuesday to allow the Rams to move to Los Angeles starting next season, ending the NFL’s 21-year journey back to a sprawling, vibrant city that loves both a spectacle and a winner.

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But the decision comes with a caveat: the team won’t officially have a stadium to call home until their palatial, billion-dollar venue in Inglewood is completed in 2019.

It’s also a decision that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials say could pose safety risks once the team finally moves in.

CBS News aviation analyst Mark Rosenker told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the planned location of the stadium – just across the freeway from Los Angeles International Airport – is far from ideal.

“This is not a very good place to put an NFL stadium that potentially could have as many as 100,000 if they ever did a Super Bowl there,” said Rosenker, a former head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

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Among the list of potential threats, according to Rosenker: drones, laser strikes and, yes, even tailgating.

“Let’s talk about the potential for people – whether they do it out of ignorance or they do it on purpose – during tailgate parties, having a few too many, deciding to bring a drone up just as the airplane is approaching the runway,” said Rosenker.

The FAA has already proposed some fixes to the planned stadium, including using various materials and coatings that would not absorb radar, changes to the structure’s height, and “looking at the lighting of the stadium that would prevent distraction to the pilot as they were coming in in critical phases of flight.”

Rosenker says his findings come from a study he conducted for a competing developer of the group ultimately selected to build the stadium.

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