WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration will conduct low-altitude helicopter flights over downtown Los Angeles and surrounding areas June 1-4. Flight dates are subject to change based on weather conditions.
The aerial surveys are being conducted in support of the Ninth Summit of the Americas. NNSA’s Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) aircraft will measure background radiation as part of standard preparations to protect public health and safety during the event.
People may see a twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, which is equipped with radiation sensing technology and operated by NEST’s Aerial Measuring System. It will fly in a grid pattern over the areas at 150 feet or higher above the ground at a speed of approximately 80 mph. Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours and are estimated to take approximately two hours to complete per area.
These surveys are a normal part of security and emergency preparedness activities. NNSA is making the public aware of the upcoming flights so members of the public who see the low-flying aircraft are not alarmed.