Federal Aviation Administration

The FAA (Once Again) Makes Ferguson a No-Fly Zone


As sporadic violence and looting continues overnight in Ferguson, MO, the FAA has issued flight restrictions over the St. Louis area, offering only "to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities" as a reason for the flight ban.

You shall not pass.

If that sounds familiar, it should. The same reason was given for locking down the skies last summer, when clashes between police and protesters became a nightly occurence for weeks, following unconfirmed reports of shots fired at a police helicopter.

But as noted by Reason's Peter Suderman, the Associated Press uncovered audio recordings which confirmed "local authorities privately acknowledged the purpose was to keep away news helicopters during violent street protests." The AP added:

"They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out," said one FAA manager about the St. Louis County Police in a series of recorded telephone conversations obtained by The Associated Press. "But they were a little concerned of, obviously, anything else that could be going on.

At another point, a manager at the FAA's Kansas City center said police "did not care if you ran commercial traffic through this TFR (temporary flight restriction) all day long. They didn't want media in there."

Unlike the earlier unsubstantiated rumors of shooting, there is no doubt that shots have been fired by protesters in Ferguson tonight. The FAA and local law enforcement may genuinely fear for the safety of their own aircraft.

Still, judging by their heavy-handed response to far more peaceful protests last August, it's hardly out of the realm of possibility that the Ferguson police would prefer to limit the amount of press coverage of their efforts to pacify the unrest.

NEXT: Ferguson, Obama, and the Pundit Class's Fixation on Speeches

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  1. Any other possible reason someone might want to limit press coverage?

    Perhaps…some hatefacts might be confirmed if cameras were to show what was actually happening?


    1. Like Delwood City Hall being set on fire?

      Or a dozen other locations, mostly businesses (auto parts stores seem especially hit).

      1. If they wanted to hide something, they would be on the airwaves like this


        1. wouldn’t.

  2. Still, judging by their heavy-handed response to far more peaceful protests last August, it’s hardly out of the realm of possibility that the Ferguson police would prefer to limit the amount of press coverage of their efforts to pacify the unrest.

    I don’t think the police are what they are trying to hide from the press.

  3. The trouble with that theory is the local TV stations still have their news helicopters up.

    They seem to be closing down Lambert Airport over gunshots fired. Flights in have been cancelled

  4. Also, the more peaceful protests in August that only resulted in 60 stores being looted?

    I guess more peaceful in the sense that they weren’t burned down like tonight, but they were hardly peaceful…

  5. Who is the FAA going to take orders from: Ferguson police or the Obama administration?

  6. Oh God, why did I go to Facebook? The first link I see:

    12 things white people can do now because Ferguson

    The most offensive thing about that headline is the grammar. What is with this stupid habit of saying, “because X”? It hurts to read.

    I also did not hear this narrative until tonight:

    Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenage boy, was gunned down by the police while walking to his grandmother’s house

    I don’t know what happened that day and I generally assume cops are lying, but for fuck’s sake.

    1. First mistake: Reading Facebook. My family can’t understand why I deleted my FB account but that shit is the reason why. FB cost me longtime friends who never discussed politics to my face but felt the need to lecture me about their “feelz” on FB

      The walking to grandmas house is new to me and doesn’t surprise me.

      1. @ FUQ I deleted my FaceBook account for the exact same reasons. I hear you.

    2. He was walking to Molokai to dedicate his life to serving the lepers.

  7. Here’s Fox 2 New’s Twitter that has some photos from their news chopper


    Gas station on fIre

    Cars at a car dealer on fire.

    1. Broken wondowz! Protesters do $50m in improvements!

  8. Yay, they’re finally put out the car fires!

    (Again, I’m watching pictures from a news chopper that supposedly isn’t allowed to be flying, but is…)

    1. The NOTAM said a radius of 3nm. That’s not all that big, and from a sufficient altitude, it’s pretty easy to be in compliance and still be able to film pretty well.

  9. “Shortly at 11:30 p.m., a young man drove up to the police line in a parking lot on West Florissant Avenue and said he had been shot in the leg. He climbed out of his car, dazed and limping, and appeared to have a wound near one ankle. He at first refused medical treatment, saying he didn’t want to leave his gray Ford Mustang. “It’s all I have,” he said”


    1. That’s kind of heart rending…

  10. And here’s a list of businesses burned (to the ground)


    There are at least half a dozen more.

    1. Those are really spread out.

  11. Ferguson is truly the Paris of the Midwest. Or at least the banlieu of Paris.

  12. sporadic violence and looting

    Like occupy, it is only a peaceful protest. I mean, those always result in the damage of the property of others because peace.

  13. The announcement of the GJ was made in prime time. And, after months of preparation and planning, all those heavily armed, militarized police – local and federal – can’t stop bottle throwers and pistol shooters and arsonists.

    A paranoid person could be forgiven for thinking that this is what the cops wanted, so they can get even more military equipment and less skepticism next time when they start shooting. Are they wearing cameras yet?

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