FAA warns drone owners: Stay away from the Super Bowl

FAA says just “Leave your drone at home”

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Credit: Reuters

Drones are becoming quite the pest apparently, enough so that the FAA felt the need today to warn any drone owners who thought they might take their little airplanes out for a spin around the Super Bowl on Sunday: Just Don’t.

The FAA said the Super Bowl is strictly a “No Drone Zone.”

no drone zone Federal Aviation Administration

“The FAA bars unauthorized aircraft – including drones – from flying over or near NFL regular- and post-season football games. The same restriction applies to NCAA college games in stadiums seating 30,000 or more fans, Major League Baseball games and many NASCAR events.”

Just “ Leave your drone at home,” the FAA stated.

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In an FAA Notice to Airmen the agency says that anyone violating the rules may be “intercepted, detained and interviewed” by law enforcement or security personnel. Besides possibly landing a violator in jail, flying an unmanned aircraft over a crowded stadium could result in an FAA civil penalty for “careless and reckless” operation of an aircraft.

The FAA said it expects an additional 1,200 to 1,400 general aviation flights into the Phoenix area for Super Bowl XLIX, and has been planning for the event for more than a year.

Some other Super Bowl flight facts facts:

  • The FAA has worked with airport operators and aviation businesses to establish reservation programs to manage the heavy arrival and departure demands for the game. The program requires pilots to make reservations to fly into and out of local airports before and after the game. It spreads out arrivals and departures so the air traffic control system is not over-taxed at any particular time.
  • The FAA will establish a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) (PDF) that will be centered on the University of Phoenix Stadium. The TFR will consist of circular rings that will extend from the ground to 18,000 feet in altitude. The restrictions will be in effect from 3:25 p.m. local time to 11:59 p.m. local time on Feb. 1.
  • There will be a highly restricted inner ring within a 10-mile radius of the stadium in which general aviation aircraft, media, banner towers, blimps and unmanned aircraft will be prohibited. Glendale, Goodyear and Williams-Gateway airports are inside this inner ring. No general aviation operators will be able to fly into or out of these locations while the restrictions are in effect. Commercial airlines will be able to operate as usual. Approved law enforcement and air ambulance operators will be able to fly in the inner ring provided they meet certain operational requirements.

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