‘No Drone Zones': FAA Takes Action to Protect Miami Super Bowl Crowds From Drones

FAA exclusively tells NBC 6 they are installing flight restrictions to stop drones the week of the Super Bowl.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The fences are already up in downtown Miami at Bayfront Park for the Super Bowl LIV crowds, but fences won’t stop drones that are lifting off and taking to the sky.  

That's why the Federal Aviation Administration is taking additional measures to address the potential threat of drones during the Super Bowl, installing flight restrictions to stop drones the week of the big game.

“We really stress safety in everything that we do. One of the things we want to make sure that when people are attending, that they don’t have to worry about drones in the air that might be flown by bad actors,” said Kevin Morris, one of the FAA’s drone experts.

The so-called 'bad actors' opt to use a drone as a weapon and bypass all the security on the ground.

“We are aware of that and that really falls under the jurisdiction of our law enforcement partners in this event. They have the capability and technology to handle those types of threats," Morris said. 

Drone 6 piloted by NBC 6 photojournalist Steve Paine Wednesday captured images of one place the FAA is concerned about: the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The FAA exclusively told NBC 6 it will be installing safety nets over the convention center and much of South Beach and downtown Miami — including Bayfront Park — starting the Monday before the Super Bowl.  No drone zones—Temporary Flight Restrictions from the ground up to 2,000 feet.

“When we have large events attended by a lot of different people from around the world we need to enact some additional safety protocols,” Morris said. 

"We partner with the FAA, the local law enforcement, state law enforcement, and federal partners like the FBI who will be working with drone mitigation technology to make sure everyone is adhering to these TFRS. It’s all in the name of safety," Miami Beach Police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez said.

On Super Bowl Sunday, forget about flying your drone in a huge section of Miami Dade and Broward—no drones within a 30-mile radius of Hard Rock Stadium.  Violate the rules and your drone might be taken out of the sky.

The FAA has the technology to track you down, too. Time in federal prison could happen for  violating the flight restrictions. Fines of more than $30,000 are also possible.  

So, while Wednesday may be a great day to fly your drone, at the end of the month the wise thing to do is keep it in the garage.

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