The FAA has declared Super Bowl LVI (56) taking place on Sunday 13th February, a “No Drone Zone” and announced that there is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood California beginning at 2:30pm local time (Pacific) and ending at 8:30pm. The TFR means that you’re not allowed to fly within a 30-nautical-mile radius of the stadium horizontally to an altitude of 18,000 feet (~3.4 miles).
Additionally, A further flight restriction prohibits drones from being flown within one-nautical-mile of the stadium from 10am on the 13th until the above TFR kicks in, up to an altitude of 3,000 feet. The penalty for breaking these restrictions is a minimum $30,000 fine, potentially some prison time and you’ll almost certainly never see your drone and its footage again.
To understand exactly what a Temporary Flight Restriction is, the FAA has a handy guide that’s worth a read. But the short version is that unless you have special permission from the FAA, you’re not allowed to fly your drone within the restricted drone during the time that the TFR is active. They’re typically issued for natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes, major sporting events like the Super Bowl, and emergency or locations of national security. The FAA keeps an active list of TFRs on its website for easy reference and is updated in real-time. They’re also listed in LAANC apps and the B4UFLY app.
So, this year, if you’re heading to the Super Bowl (or anywhere within 30 nautical miles!) on Sunday 13th February, be sure to leave the drone at home or it could get real expensive real quick! Of course, it is possible to get permission from the FAA to fly in the area during this time (which you’ll absolutely need if you want to), but except for emergency reasons, you’re unlikely to be granted such permission.