‘No Drone Zones’ to go in place ahead of Super Bowl LV

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you’re thinking about flying your drone during the Super Bowl or any upcoming Super Bowl LV event, think again.

Temporary flight restrictions also known as no drone zones will be in place leading up to the big game.

The Federal Aviation Administration is restricting drone flights around Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for the NFL Super Bowl Experience up to an altitude of 2,000 feet starting Friday until Feb. 6.

On gameday, two temporary flight restrictions will go up around Raymond James Stadium, one in the morning and one shortly before kickoff.

The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) on game day will prohibit drones within a 30-nautical-mile radius of the stadium up to 18,000 feet in altitude. The TFR will be in place from 5:30 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.

Drones are also prohibited for one nautical mile around Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. until the TFR for the game takes effect. 

The FAA, FBI, Tampa Police Department, and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up to make sure people going to the Super Bowl, and Super Bowl-related events are safe.

“The risk increases for somebody potentially being injured by a drone that may malfunction or come out of the sky for an unknown reason,” FAA Drone expert Kevin Morris said.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says drones pose several safety concerns and security risks, including being used as a weapon.

“The message is simple, don’t let the curiosity of grabbing some real cool footage land you in some hot water,” Sheriff Chronister said. “You don’t want to be that person who find themselves facing serious sanction and find yourself in jail just because of that curiosity of grabbing that cool footage, don’t be that person.”

The FBI is not aware of any concerns right now, but the agency wants to stay ahead of any potential threats.

“With the large crowds expected, the recklessness of drone operation is certainly a concern in additional to any potential nefarious intent behind a drone operator,” FBI Tampa SSA Kelly Shannon said.

If you’re caught flying a drone in the no-drone zone, you could face civil penalties that exceed $30,000 and potential criminal prosecution. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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