FAA Restricts Drone Use at Kobe Bryant Crash Site

In another example of the complications around regulating drone use, the Federal Aviation Administration was forced to issue an airspace restriction near the site of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant this month.

FAA officials issued the restriction for five nautical miles in every direction from the crash site, effectively closing the airspace above Calabasas, Calif. The crash of a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and several others occurred on Jan. 26, 2020. 

The restriction, known as a temporary flight restriction, was placed at 2:15 p.m. PT on Jan. 26 and is effective through Jan. 31, according to the FAA’s website. According to reporting on Business Insider, while those types of helicopters frequently fly near crash sites, a spokesperson for the FAA told Business Insider that the agency decided to close the airspace, partly because of the “significant number of aircraft, including drones, operating over the accident site.”

Many drones used by consumers today have cameras with video-recording capabilities–and it is likely those operating the machines wanted to get a closer view of the area and take video and photographs.

The worldwide, non-military drone market will triple in size to $14.3 billion in sales over the next decade, according to a recent study from aerospace analysis company Teal Group. 

Angela Stubblefield, Chief of Staff at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), told attendees at November’s ISC East event in New York that the agency is working on a holistic approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and the safety and security around them.

Drone and robotic security and technology and the latest information about drones and counter-drone technologies will be featured at ISC West, taking place in March at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

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Article Written by Joan Goodchild | View all articles by Joan Goodchild