FAA Bans Drones From The Super Bowl — Unless You’re Lady Gaga

Feb 5, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Beginning at 4pm Central Time and extending until just before midnight, the Federal Aviation Administration has instituted a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) within a 34.5 mile radius of NRG Stadium in Houston, where today’s Super Bowl is being played. The TFR prohibits certain aircraft operations — including drones — from operating within the flight area during the proscribed times.

Super Bowl flight restrictions aren’t unusual and the FAA has had other special procedures in place for the last several days leading up to the big game and continuing into tomorrow. But the FAA is going out of its way to inform members of the public specifically about the drone restriction, even producing a 20 second video declaring the Super Bowl to be a “No Drone Zone.”

With drones becoming ever more popular, incidents between drones and other aircraft are becoming more common, and the FAA now requires drone operators to register their devices. But while drones have been banned from flying over major sporting events since 2014, this years “No Drone Zone” — which is equivalent to 30 nautical miles — is large enough that it could easily affect people in the Houston area with no connection to the game, especially considering the stadium is located near the downtown area. Therefore, the FAA advises drone operators to consult its B4UFLY smartphone app, which can show in real time any flight restrictions or requirements that exist in the area for unmanned aircraft.

Meanwhile, the FAA drone ban required a little extra work to produce aspects of the game’s entertainment. According to CNNMoney, Super Bowl organizers had to request clearance from the FAA to use drones during the halftime show, which this year is featuring Lady Gaga. A source reportedly said the performance will include hundreds of lit-up drones. While companies such as Disney have previously employed drones in shows, this will be the first time drones are incorporated into the widely watched Super Bowl halftime broadcast.

As far as the rest of us, CNET reported that local law enforcement officials are aware of the ban, and NORAD — the North American Aerospace Defense command — is enforcing the ban, according to FAA spokeswoman Laura J. Brown. Recently, commercial operators have been fined for using drones in a careless or reckless manner, and at last year’s third presidential debate, Las Vegas police employed an anti-drone system known as DroneTracker that can locate and jam signals between the drone and the operator.

So if you’re heading out to the stadium today, leave your drones at home. Kickoff between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons is scheduled for 6:30pm Eastern.

Featured image courtesy of DKart/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.