The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was begging hobbyists to leave their drones at home during Super Bowl 50, and it appears the people listened.
According to the FAA, there were four airspace violations during Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., but each incident involved a private plane. There were no drones that violated the FAA’s “No Fly Zone” that temporarily restricted airspace within a 32-mile radius of Levi’s Stadium from 2 PM to midnight on Super Bowl Sunday.
Major Katrina Andrews, a spokeswoman for the air component of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said the pilots of the private planes, which included a Cessna 150, Cessna 172, Vans RV 6 and Beechcraft BE35, didn’t read their notices that warned them to stay away from the stadium during the Super Bowl. The pilots received an alert that they were violating the airspace and were escorted or diverted to the Livermore Municipal Airport or Palo Robles.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said that pilots who violate Temporarily Flight Restrictions could face sanctions ranging from warning letters to license suspensions or revocations.
Drones have been banned from flying above sporting events since at least 2014. Here’s some details on those restrictions, courtesy NOTAM FDC 4/3621:
All aircraft operations; including parachute jumping, unmanned aircraft and remote controlled aircraft, are prohibited within a 3 NMR up to and including 3000 FT AGL of any stadium having a seating capacity of 30,000 or more people where either a regular or post season Major League Baseball, National Football League, or NCAA division one football game is occurring. This NOTAM also applies to NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series races excluding qualifying and pre-race events.
Drones were somewhat of a concern for security officials in 2015 at Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Drones were banned within 30 miles of Super Bowl XLIX, and officials were ready to close the roof on University of Phoenix Stadium if there was a suspicious drone nearby. Security officials admitted the concern about terrorists using drone was “pretty small” and that the “real threat” was over a hobbyist crashing a drone into a crowd of people.