L.A. police weighing FAA curb on copters

April 11, 1993|By Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES -- News helicopters may find themselve grounded after the verdicts are delivered in the Rodney G. King beating case.

The Federal Aviation Administration has authority to restrict airspace at the request of local law enforcement authorities.

Los Angeles police are apparently prepared to make such a request, and members of the news media met with Police Chief Willie Williams last week in hopes of persuading him to allow access to helicopters.

"It was a good meeting, and he promised to think about what we told him," said Michael Horowicz, executive producer and assistant news director at KCBS.

"I said, 'Give us a chance. If there's a problem, call me and we can work it out, but let's don't get the FAA involved,' " he said.

Elle Brekke, a spokeswoman for the FAA, said last week that the agency had not received a formal request to limit airspace.

"But at their request, we have been meeting with representatives of the LAPD and other law enforcement officials to hear their concerns," she said.

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