RICHMOND — A drone spotted flying 50 feet above the downtown helipad that VCU Medical Center uses to transport critically injured patients is figuring front and center in a state lawmaker’s push for new regulations governing unmanned flights in Virginia.
Sen. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, pointed to the incident as he made the case for a law aimed at eventually granting the state’s aviation board authority over drones, which are currently only regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Federal rules do not necessarily prohibit flights over helipads.
“Pilots can’t risk either taking off or landing and having one of their air scoops suck up a drone,” Cosgrove said. “You’d have a real problem.”