The FAA has imposed a 4-nautical mile Temporary Flight Restriction, (“TFR”), in airspace up to 3500 feet above sea level, over the Standing Rock Protest in North Dakota. The land in that area sits approximately 1600 feet above sea level, meaning about 1900 feet of the sky above the protest is off limits to any aircraft other than those permitted to fly — namely, aircraft in support of the law enforcement activities.
Neither the mainstream media, nor citizen journalists, nor activist hobbyists may fly in that area to document what law enforcement is doing.
Why is there a TFR over Standing Rock? — Peter Sachs, Esq.
This action will prevent the media or activists from showing shocking footage of water cannons used to spray protesters.
Forbes journalist John Goglia has pointed out that “keeping the media from documenting law enforcement actions is not part of the FAA’s mission. Nor is it a legal basis for issuing flight restrictions.” Yet that is exactly what they did in Ferguson and it appears they are doing the same here.
I reached out to the FAA for more specific information on why the TFR was issued, including whether it was issued because of the reports of drones being shot down. I also requested information on whether drone journalists could get permission to fly through the TFR and, if so, how. Lastly, I asked what the FAA was doing to investigate and prosecute the 8 or more instances of drones being shot down as the agency confirmed to me several months ago that shooting down drones was a felony. The FAA indicated that it would respond tomorrow. I will provide an update when it does.
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This is an important issue and the media need to not only question the use of the FAA to restrict the media, but also gather information about who requested this restriction as well as who can REVERSE it.
While reading about the Birmingham campaign I wanted to know not only who issued the orders, but who had the authority to tell them to stop. And if they didn’t stop, what were the consequences and how were they enforced.
Obama is still the President, what will he do?