Icon Ceases Landings Near Gateway Arch
National news coverage is assured when fire and emergency crews repeatedly respond to a amphibious seaplane being operated in a place where people appear to be quite concerned with what happens on the river. Last weeks news about the ICON A5 being landed near the Gateway Arch triggered a media frenzy and several responses from emergency crews and authorities.
Missouri Revised Statutes, 305.030, reads, in part: “…flight in aircraft over the lands and waters of this state is lawful, unless at such a low altitude as to interfere with the then existing use … Or unless so conducted as to be imminently dangerous to persons or property …”
Fox 2 Now St. Louis reports that an “agreement” has been reached between the demo pilot Rick Rief and the Fire Chief to continue the flights further north, out of sight of most onlookers and nervous Nelly’s. By mandate, rescue crews have to respond to emergency calls even though they have been advised of particular activities. “I’ve got to make sure this is a safe operation. Right now, I’m not convinced it is,” the Fire Chief was quoted.
It is quite a rare occurrence to see a Fire Chief in the United States effectively take on regulatory oversight on a completely legal activity and; and get it to stop and remain hopeful that the overly concerned part of the populace won’t follow the aircraft around to its future landing spots, just to call authorities again.