In the wake of the tragedy that claimed the life of Laker legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and 7 others, Congressman Brad Sherman of California is introducing the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act, which will require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to strengthen federal safety standards for helicopters.
According to a press release, in 2004, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended to the FAA that all helicopters be equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System. "Unfortunately, the FAA refused to follow this recommendation to require the safety system. Kobe Bryant’s helicopter did not have this system when it crashed on January 26th. Had this system been on the helicopter, it is likely the tragic crash could have been avoided," says the release. These systems cost between $25,000 to $40,000 per helicopter.
The Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act will direct the FAA to adopt new helicopter safety standards in coordination with the National Transportation Safety Board, which must include a requirement that helicopters be equipped with a Terrain Awareness and Warning System. The legislation will also establish a commission on helicopter safety and require a report to Congress on best practices for helicopters in cases of low visibility.