Orgs seek end to copter ban

News helicopters been grounded since Sept. 11

NEW YORK — Media orgs lobbied the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday in an effort to get news helicopters back in the air.

The Radio & Television News Directors Assn., as well as reps from television nets, local stations, the National Broadcast Pilots Assn., the NAB and the news helicopter industry, urged FAA chief counsel David Leitch to overturn the security measure banning the flight of news helicopters. News helicopters have been grounded since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.

RTNDA prexy Barbara Cochran stressed that newsies rely on helicopters to cover the news in large areas. Media reps also argued that news choppers pose no threat to national security and that other types of aircraft are already back in the sky.

FAA reps said they couldn’t reverse the ban on their own but would forward the information to the National Security Council. They requested that the media group supply the FAA with more information about whether security checks have been done on the people who fly the copters and where the aircraft are stored when not in use.

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