FAA Looks To Outlaw Use Of Drones Over Stadiums And Large Public Events

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration released an updated notice criminalizing the operation of drones or model plans over large sports stadiums and auto racetracks. According to the notice, operators who violate certain conditions can be fined and imprisoned for up to a year.

The updated notice states that aircraft, which now includes unmanned and remote controlled planes, are not allowed to fly within three miles, or below 3,000 feet of any stadium that can seat 30,000 or more people during the regular or post season of Major League Baseball, National Football League, and NCAA Division 1 college football games an hour prior and after an event for security reasons. The FAA notice went on to say that the restrictions also apply to the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series races though it excluded qualifying and pre-race events.

According to attorneys that are representing drone users, this is the first time that the FAA has sought to criminalize the use of drones and model planes.

The original notice was first issued shortly after the events of September 9, 2001 which prohibited aircraft from flying over sports arenas. However, now the updated version classifies drones and remote controlled planes as “aircraft.”

Interest in drones continues to increase, as well as development of different types of drones for consumer use such as the Nixie, HEXO+, and the Bebop. So it was only a matter of time before some government agency stepped in to regulate the use of drones.

What do you think of the FAA classifying drones as an “aircraft?"