FAA goes long with Super Bowl no-drone zone

Image: No drone zone
The FAA is spreading the word about the Super Bowl “no-drone zone.” (Credit: FAA)

No means no when it comes to the Federal Aviation Administration’s no-drone zone for Super Bowl Sunday.

Not even CBS, which is broadcasting the big football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos starting at 3:30 p.m. PT Sunday, will be allowed to send unmanned aerial vehicles into the red zone, the FAA says.

The red zone is unusually large this weekend: It extends across a 74-mile-wide circle centered on Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley. The FAA’s temporary flight restrictions block out the airspace to a height of 18,000 feet from 2 to 11:59 p.m. PT.

The FAA typically restricts the airspace around sporting events with a seating capacity of 30,000 spectators or more, but for the Super Bowl, the no-drone zone is bigger than usual: 37 statute miles (32 nautical miles) in radius, as opposed to the standard 3.5 statute miles. That’s because the Super Bowl is considered a “special security event.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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