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Just a quick note about the goings-on here.

This morning the FAA issued a No-fly zone order for Ferguson, MO, effective until August 18th (next Monday).

The quoted reason is "to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities."

Since Lambert St. Louis International Airport is just to Ferguson's west, this may affect incoming/outgoing flights, although I believe that only the cross-wind runways are affected.

Again, we end up wondering that while it certainly provides protection for law enforcement aircraft, if it also is justification to make sure that news organization cannot obtain aerial views of the area as well.

Considering that last night, local news crews were exposed to tear gas and then were explicitly told to leave because they were "endangering lives." This after as plain as could be live on Channel 5, we saw a police officer, from the middle of a phalanx of other officers in riot gear, lob a tear gas grenade towards a group of people.

Update: Wow. First recommended diary. And for one that I wrote quick just to get the news out. Thanks.

1:18 PM PT: Just a further point. I think there is a real worry about commercial jets flying in this area, due to the proximity with the airport, though I am pretty sure this area is not in the normal flight path.

However, the question is why this should also apply to news gatherer helicopters, especially if they made sure to stay out of the way, say by staying away to the east.

2:24 PM PT: According to a comment by Mark Lippman, this no-fly zone does not apply to commercial flights, nor to "properly accredited news representatives" who file a flight plan.

7:05 PM PT: There are a lot of good comments about FAA flight rules and how this order affects them. Please read them before engaging in too much conspiracy mongering.

7:22 PM PT: St. Louis Post Dispatch

KMOV-TV news director Brian Thouvenot said the flight restriction effectively shuts it and other news helicopters out of covering the evolving Ferguson story.
KMOV-TV also said they have been unable to determine who made the request, though there are other quotes that claim that shots were fired at helicopters.

Maybe my admonition about conspiracy-mongering was premature.

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