Yesterday the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a 15 second video with this helpful reminder: Don't try to fly a drone at the Super Bowl, ya jerks.
I suppose, given that some drunk off-duty intelligence agent crashed his drone onto White House grounds at 3 a.m. this week, we shouldn't overestimate humanity's common sense here. But this hardly seems like the occasion for a formal (taxpayer-funded) PSA. Or a taxpayer-funded hashtag, for that matter. It's #nodronezone, just in case.
And here's the cheesy press release, including a custom logo:
January 28–Many familiar sounds are associated with the Super Bowl: Cheering fans. Referee whistles. The spectacular halftime show. Booming fireworks.
But one sound you shouldn't hear is the whirring of an unmanned aircraft overhead. The Super Bowl is strictly a "No Drone Zone."
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.
The FAA Notice to Airmen makes it crystal clear 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.
Bottom line: If you want to see video of the Big Game, watch it on TV. Leave your drone at home.
It's nice the the FAA has "crystal clear" rules for football-bound aircraft, but it would be great if they got around to clarifying rules for commercial and personal drone use one these days, since delivery of tacos, Amazon orders, and much more are hinging on the slow-moving regulatory body.
In the meantime, individual venues and teams can surely handle the task of conveying stadium rules to spectators and punishing violators. Heck, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has a suggestion:
H/T: Alert reader Richard Rohde