The Super Bowl is only days away and millions of football fans will be descending on the Bay Area to celebrate, but the FAA wants to make sure drones aren’t part of the festivities.
The Federal Aviation Administration has declared the airspace above Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara to be a no-fly zone and that includes drones, so leave yours at home.
“Bring your lucky jersey. Bring your face paint. Bring your team spirit. But leave your drone at home.”
The FAA made a 20-second video to remind people not to fly their drones within a 32-mile radius of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara between 2 p.m. and midnight on game day.
Officials are also prepared to use “deadly force” to remove your drone from the sky if they deem it a security threat, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement.
“With so many drones being sold for recreational use, we want to do everything we can to get the word out that the game is a No Drone Zone. We’re working closely with our safety and security partners to spread this message as widely as possible.”
The no-fly zone over Levi’s Stadium also means there won’t be any parachuting into the Super Bowl. Sorry.
The no drone zone over the Super Bowl is similar to last year’s ban, but in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks and the San Bernardino mass shooting, law enforcement is taking no chances with game day security this year.
They’ve amassed a huge security force consisting of F-16 fighter jets, helicopters, tanker planes, K-9 units, and tactical teams along with local and state police officers backed by federal agents.
Bottom line: don’t mess with Super Bowl security.
If you do, it could mean serious jail time and/or hefty fines.
One of the biggest threats facing the year’s biggest football game is air poisoning by drone attack, which is what prompted the FAA to get the word out early about the no-fly zone.
A record number of unmanned drones were given as gifts during Christmas, and the Silicon Valley is likely to be home to more drone owners than other areas. There’s even a drone racing league coming to California in March.
The FAA has created a national drone registry for owners of the unmanned aircraft with a $5 fee for pilots. The system helps the agency better track drones that cross into designated no-fly zones.
Almost 300,000 pilots have registered their drones with the registration system. As part of the process owners must certify that they’ve read and understood a series of guidelines produced by the FAA including the prohibition of flying drones over major sporting events.
The mandatory registration system was developed because several irresponsible drone owners flew their aircraft in dangerous or restricted areas.
Along with flying too close to firefighter tanker planes and landing on the White House lawn, one drone crash-landed into stands at the U.S. Open.
FAA officials have vowed not to repeat the experience and created the no drone zone and video in response.
Remember: if you fly your drone near Levi’s Stadium it could get shot down.
Super Bowl 50 featuring the Denver Broncos facing off against the Carolina Panthers is set for 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Santa Clara.
[AP Photo/Charlie Riedel]