A U.S. Congressman Says If Necessary Shoot Down Drones

Concerns over drones getting in the way of firefighters and others has become such a big concern that now all levels of government are banding together to basically say when drone operators illegally fly aerial firefighters can't. 

City Councilman Mitchell Englander says that over two million drones were sold in the United States last year. And, "according to the Federal Aviation Administration there are nearly 200,000 aircraft in the sky in the US at any one time. What that means is drones could outnumber aircraft in our skies as we speak."

RELATED: A Pilot's View of Drones From The Cockpit

There have been a number of drones sighted where they shouldn't be.

*At the Austin, Texas airport last week pilots on two flights saw drones.

*On Sunday, pilots from four aircraft saw a drone while on final approach to Newark Airport.

*A number of pilots said they saw a drone while preparing to land at JFK in New York.

Remember the story about Captain Sully Sullenberger who safely landed his plane in the Hudson River after it struck a flock of canada geese. State Assemblyman Mike Gatto says, given that, "imagine a drone which is made of metal and hard plastic and how damaging that can be to a firefighting aircraft."

RELATED: Drone Halts Air Drops Over San Bernardino County Brush Fire

Assemblyman Gatto has co-sponsored state legislation to heavily fine drone operators flying illegally.The City of Los Angeles is looking at a motion to keep drones away from emergency workers and airports. And, Congressman Adam Schiff has been on the case as well trying to move the FAA into faster action.

Whether it's a motion at City Hall or some legislation crafted up in Sacramento implementation takes time.

So, what if a drone gets in the way of a fire or an airplane can it be shot out of the sky? Congressman Adam Schiff says yes. He says "Look, I think firefighters are going to have to do whatever is necessary to protect their pilots. If someone is irresponsibly flying their drone and interfering with firefighters I'm perfectly fine with taking that drone down and I don't think there is a jury in the world that is going to find otherwise."

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