The Federal Aviation Administration is taking a tough stance on drones at the Super Bowl this year: bring them, and we’ll shoot them down. The “no-drone-zone” spans much further than just the stadium itself too, extending out 36 miles from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
The no-fly zone encompasses nearly all of San Francisco to the north and west, Santa Cruz, Morgan Hill and Gilroy to the south, and San Jose and Pleasanton to the north and east.
Flight restrictions are in place from 2:00 PM through 11:59 PM local time on Sunday, and violators could face fines and prosecution for disobeying the order, officials say. The FAA also warns that drones could be subject to “deadly force” if it is considered a threat – although they did not specify how and by whom the restrictions would be enforced.
A YouTube video is now making the rounds of social media, telling attendees to “bring your lucky jersey, bring your face paint, bring your team spirit … but leave your drone at home.” The aim is to get the message out to as many people as possible, the FAA says.
A similar drone policy was in effect at last year’s Super Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona, although at that point the registration requirements for drone flying didn’t exist. Now the FAA expects to you to register your drone, so if you’re following the law it’s even less smart to do it – considering your drone now carries identifiable information on its owner.
While we’re making a big deal out of the no-drone zone here, the 36-mile restriction applies to manned aircraft as well, with even tighter restrictions in 10 mile radius according to the FAA website. Flights in these zones will need to have a flight plan on record, and the FAA recommends that pilots seek approval before entering the restricted airspace to avoid delays.
Super Bowl 50 takes place between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos at 3:30pm on Sunday.