Las Vegas Declared ‘No Drone Zone’ for Super Bowl by FAA

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Enhanced Security Measures for the Big Game

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has officially designated the Las Vegas area as a ‘No Drone Zone’ for the upcoming Super Bowl on February 11, reflecting a growing concern over drone-related security at major sporting events. This decision marks a significant step in tightening security measures for one of America’s most-watched sports events.

The Threat of Drones at Public Events

The move by the FAA comes amid heightened awareness of the potential dangers posed by unauthorized drone activities at large public gatherings. In November, the NFL voiced its concerns following a Drone Incident during a game in Baltimore, stating, “Without a change in federal law, mass gatherings will remain at risk from malicious and unauthorized drone operations.” This statement highlights the broader apprehensions shared by U.S. sports leagues over drone threats.

Las Vegas Declared 'No Drone Zone' For Super Bowl By Faa 2

Specific Restrictions and Timings

The FAA has outlined precise restrictions for the Super Bowl, starting from 11 a.m. PT with a two nautical mile radius around Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, extending up to 2,000 feet in altitude. These restrictions will broaden from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. to cover a 30-nautical-mile radius and reach up to 18,000 feet in altitude. Additionally, there will be constraints around the stadium and two casino hotels in the days leading up to the event.

A Call for Legal Action

In response to the growing drone threat, the NFL, backed by the White House, is pushing for Congress to grant expanded powers to detect and neutralize threatening drones. Since 2018, Congress has increased the authority of the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security in this area, but there is a pressing need to renew and expand these powers as the number of registered drones continues to surge.

The Importance of Drone Authority Expansion

The sports leagues have emphasized that expanding drone authority is crucial for ensuring the safety of major events and the millions of fans attending them. Brad Wiegmann, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, noted in 2022 that outdoor mass gatherings, such as open-air sports stadiums, are particularly susceptible to drone attacks.

Proactive Measures by Law Enforcement

In alignment with these concerns, the Biden administration has proposed a pilot program to extend counter-drone authority to state and local law enforcement officials tasked with safeguarding mass gatherings at sporting events. This initiative has received commendation from the sports leagues. Moreover, since 2018, the FBI has conducted numerous drone and counter-drone protection operations at large events like the Super Bowl.

A United Front for Safety

The designation of Las Vegas as a ‘No Drone Zone’ for the Super Bowl is more than a regulatory measure; it represents a collaborative effort among various entities to ensure the safety of attendees at one of the most significant events in American sports. As Drone Technology becomes more prevalent, such coordinated responses are crucial for the security of public gatherings. The ongoing dialogue and action among the FAA, sports leagues, and law enforcement agencies reflect a united front in the face of emerging security challenges.

Drones will be restricted during the following times and days:

Game Day, Sunday, Feb. 11

  • Restrictions begin at 11 a.m. PST within two nautical miles around the stadium up to 2,000 feet in altitude. 
  • The restrictions expand between 2:30 until 8:30 p.m. PST to a 30-nautical-mile radius and up to 18,000 feet in altitude. 

Before Game Day, Feb. 5-9

  • Restrictions around Allegiant Stadium on Feb.5, for one nautical mile up to an altitude of 1,000 feet from between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Restrictions around Resorts World on Feb. 8, for one nautical mile up to an altitude of 1,000 feet from between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Restrictions around Allegiant Stadium on Feb.9, for one nautical mile up to an altitude of 1,000 feet from between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Restrictions around Wynn Casino on Feb. 9, for one nautical mile up to an altitude of 1,000 feet from between 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

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