FAA Bans Drones at Super Bowl 50
If you're anywhere in the vicinity of Super Bowl 50 on February 7, please leave your drone at home.
In case you needed a reminder, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is banning drones from flying anywhere near Super Bowl 50 on February 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
The FAA is shutting down airspace up to 17,999 and within a 32-mile radius of Levi’s Stadium from 2 PM to midnight on game-day. There’s another 11.5-mile radius closer to the stadium the FAA is putting an even bigger emphasis on.
The FAA has set up a website, FlytoSuperBowl50.org, where people can find information about where not to fly. The information could change as Super Bowl 50 gets closer, the FAA says.
Again, this really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as drones have been banned from flying above sporting events since at least 2014. Here’s some details on those restrictions, courtesy NOTAM FDC 4/3621:
All aircraft operations; including parachute jumping, unmanned aircraft and remote controlled aircraft, are prohibited within a 3 NMR up to and including 3000 FT AGL of any stadium having a seating capacity of 30,000 or more people where either a regular or post season Major League Baseball, National Football League, or NCAA division one football game is occurring. This NOTAM also applies to NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series races excluding qualifying and pre-race events.
Drones were somewhat of a concern for security officials in 2015 at Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Drones were banned within 30 miles of Super Bowl XLIX, and officials were ready to close the roof on University of Phoenix Stadium if there was a suspicious drone nearby. Security officials admitted the concern about terrorists using drone was “pretty small” and that the “real threat” was over a hobbyist crashing a drone into a crowd of people.
In September 2015, a teacher was arrested for crashing a drone into an empty section of seats during a second-round match at the US Open. Drones are banned within five miles of an airport, and Louis Armstrong Stadium sits 4.2 miles from LaGuardia Airport. Nobody was injured during the incident
Moral of the story: if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Levi’s Stadium on February 7, 2016, it’s probably a good idea to leave your drone at home.