The FAA is once again asking you to not fly drones at the Super Bowl

intrusive drones

It’s that time of year again, the biggest football (American football that is) game of the year is quickly approaching, and the NFL is once again asking drone pilots to stay away from the stadium during game day weekend.

The NFL has put out a full flight advisory for Super Bowl LVII, which details out where and when you cannot fly near State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled to kickoff for the final game of the 2022-2023 season on Sunday, February 12, at 6:30 p.m. ET, but restrictions for drones will start on Thursday.

A special no-fly zone for all UAS up to 1,000 ft AGL will be put into place starting on February 9 and going through the week. The zone goes into effect at 6:00 a.m. MST and closes at midnight daily. The zone will cover much of the downtown area including Chase Field, the University of Arizona, and The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix.

For State Farm Stadium, three separate TFRs will go into place on game day, all three prohibit UAS flights. The first will be a 1 NM ring from the surface up to 3,000 ft AGL from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. MST. The second is an inner ring for game time, 10 nm from the surface up to but not including FL180 (Flight Level 18,000 ft). The third is an outer ring, of 30 nm, with fewer restrictions on traditional aircraft. The center for all three rings is 33°31’48″N, 112°15’53″W, which is near the intersection of W Maryland Ave and N 95th Ave. The inner and outer rings will open at 3:30 p.m. and closes at 8:20 p.m. MST.

So if you plan on flying any drones in the Phoenix area this weekend, make sure you are aware of these restrictions to not find yourself in trouble with the FAA and pretty much every other local and federal law enforcement agency.

Why are do we talk about this every year?

Every year, the NFL seems to make a big deal about posting information about not flying drones at the Super Bowl. You would think everyone would get the gist and not break the rules. However, we’ve reported several instances of violations during the regular season that continue to require this level of passive aggressiveness by the FAA.

It was January of last year we saw a drone fly inside the stadium of the Cincinnati Bengals (of which I still can’t get over their loss to the 49ers the other week). Breaking countless laws on proper drone flying and even shared the video on YouTube for all of us to critique. I think the consensus was if you’re gonna risk jail time for some drone footage, at least have it be halfway decent.

While to many of us recreational pilots, drones are a hobby and are just toys. For others, they are tools in the hope to sell their services or videos for profit. However, as we are learning with more and more videos from Ukraine, drones can be easily modified as weapons. These safety precautions are here to keep everyone safe, whether from those looking to do it on purpose or accidents by the innocent.

However you choose to enjoy this weekend’s big day, remember to do it safely and legally.

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