Super Bowl LVI

Super Bowl LVI: in case it wasn’t already clear to drone pilots…

The Super Bowl LVI is set for this coming Sunday, February 13, to be played between the National Football Conference champion Los Angeles Rams and the American Football Conference champion Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.

And in case it wasn’t already clear to drone pilots, don’t try flying over the game. The Federal Aviation Administration sent out a memo reminding the nation that SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., is a “No Drone Zone” for Super Bowl LVI.

That means the FAA has prohibited drones within a 30-nautical-mile radius of the stadium up to 18,000 feet in altitude from flying during the duration of the FAA’s Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR), which is in effect between 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. PT on Feb. 13, 2022. Of course, this doesn’t apply to just drones, but glider operations, flight training, and other UAS operations too.

SoFi Stadium is located about 4 miles from Los Angeles International Airport. But 30 nautical miles is an incredibly long distance. The TFR effectively means no flying of drones pretty much anywhere in the massive Los Angels sprawl for the entire afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday. No droning around Griffith Park (about 16 statue miles away), no droning down Rodeo Drive (about 11 statue miles away), and no droning over the hills of Palos Verdes (about 19 statue miles away).

Additionally, drones are prohibited for an even shorter radius stating as early as 10 a.m. on Feb. 13 and running until the game begins. Under that TFR, drones cannot fly within one nautical mile and up to 3,000 feet in altitude around SoFi Stadium.

And if you do, expect big trouble. Drone operators who enter the TFRs without permission could face drone confiscation, civil penalties that exceed $30,000 and potential criminal prosecution, according to the FAA.

Of course, this should not come as a surprise to you if you’re reading this website. Because if you’re reading this website, it’s likely that you’re either Part 107 Remote Pilot certified, or you’ve passed your TRUST test to fly drones recreationally. That’s because — while the Super Bowl rules are certainly stricter than the rules for more everyday sporting events — drones have always been prohibited from flying near NFL games.

Flying drones within a radius of three nautical miles of the stadium or venue is prohibited starting one hour before and ending one hour after the scheduled time of any of the following events:

  • Major League Baseball
  • National Football League
  • NCAA Division One Football
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series races

You can read more about the FAA’s Super Bowl LVI safety plan here.

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