No drones: FAA only wants pigskin in the air at Super Bowl
(CNN) — Headed to the Super Bowl this weekend? Bring your money, foam finger and tickets — heck, even bring your face paint — but please leave your drone at home.
At least that’s what the Federal Aviation Administration wants.
The FAA released a 15-second video on YouTube Wednesday reminding everyone that the Super Bowl is a “No Drone Zone.”
The video features pictures of football fans tailgating and cheering in the stands, with a narrator imploring people “don’t spoil the game” by bringing drones. It ends with the hashtag #nodronezone.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the FAA will establish a virtual no-fly zone around the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where Super Bowl XLIX will be played. Unmanned aircraft, such as drones, won’t be allowed within 30 miles of the stadium from an hour before game time until well after the game is over, according to an FAA statement.
Michael Steinbach, the FBI’s assistant director of counterterrorism said Super Bowl security is a huge task. “The Super Bowl, like any large public event — the FBI starts planning along with local law enforcement, authorities on the ground, and DHS months and months beforehand,” he said.
The uptick in the use of drones adds one more wrinkle to security planners’ jobs. But according to Steinbach, it’s the FBI’s job to focus on stopping the threat as opposed to trying to react to specific tools terrorists may use. “I’m concerned about drones, I’m concerned about guns, I’m concerned about bombs, cars — that’s just the tool. I’m more concerned about the actor, I’m more concerned about the threat.”
The FAA is waging an education campaign on drone safety after several incidents of drones getting too close to commercial aircraft. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta has said pilots have reported up to 25 cases per month of drones flying above the regulated limit of 400 feet, with some flying as high as 2,000 feet in the air.
Huerta said the FAA is working to educate people about the dangers of flying drones that high, because enforcement of rules on the small, unmanned aerial vehicles can be difficult.
Drones are sparking security concerns as well. Earlier this week, a government employee crashed his drone on the grounds of the White House. President Barack Obama and the first lady weren’t at home at the time. No one was injured, and the Secret Service is investigating.
CNN’s Wesley Bruer contributed to this report.