FAA Warns of Airspace Restrictions During NFL Championship

The Federal Aviation Administration, ramping back up after the 35-day partial U.S. government shutdown, has issued a warning that the airspace surrounding Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is a “no drone zone” for the three days leading up to and during Super Bowl LIII, which will be held February 3.

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The FAA says a temporary flight restriction, in effect from 5:30 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on game day, will prohibit drones within a 30-nautical-mile radius of the stadium up to 17,999 feet msl. The drone restrictions further extend for one nautical mile around the stadium up to 1,000 feet agl during specified hours from January 31 to February 3, then leading up to the more extensive restrictions.

The "no drone zone" comes in addition to the 30-nautical-mile-radius TFR in place for general aviation aircraft on Super Bowl Sunday and the air traffic management plans required in the days leading up to the event for these operations. The FAA has established a webpage outlining operational restrictions this week over the Atlanta area.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft will assist in patrolling the TFR airspace. The FAA warns that pilots and drone operators who violate the TFRs could face penalties exceeding $20,000 and potential criminal prosecution.