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February 5, 2016updated 04 Sep 2016 10:30pm

Will drones only be allowed to fly at Disney? ‘No drone zone’ declared at Super Bowl, as drone crashes into Empire State Building

News: All drones in US tech capital Silicon Valley will be grounded.

By Joao Lima

As the US prepares for Super Bowl 50, federal aviation authorities have banned drone flights over and around Levi’s Stadium in California, due to security concerns.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued the warning that the airspace around the stadium is a ‘No Drone Zone’ during Sunday’s event from 2pm to 11:59pm ET (UK 10pm to 8am).

In a statement, the FAA said: "Temporary Flight Restrictions will prohibit certain aircraft operations, including unmanned aircraft operations, within a 32-mile radius of the stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on game day."

The governmental body has launched a Teitter campaign under #NoDroneZone and a YouTube video where it tells people to take their lucky jerseys to the Levi’s Stadium, take their team spirit, but to leave their drone at home and be a responsible pilot in order to "make the game safe for all of us".

Pilots of unmanned aircraft have been prohibited from flying at a lower altitude of 18,000 feet around the Santa Clara venue where the Carolina Panthers will play against the Denver Broncos.

The restricted area covers one of the densest drone concentration of users on earth with San Francisco’s downtown also included in the ban and even the whole of Silicon Valley. Those that do not respect the ban could be faced with a fine.

The FAA ban has been made amid security concerns raised by the irresponsible use of the devices by everyday citizens, and also criminals and terrorists.

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For example, in 2013, a drone flying over a bull run in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, crashed into the crowd injuring some of the public members.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, said: "With so many drones being sold for recreational use, we want to do everything we can to get the word out that the game is a No Drone Zone.

"We are working closely with our safety and security partners to spread this message as widely as possible."


Last night, a man from New Jersey was arrested after crashing a drone into the 40th floor of the Empire State Building. The unmanned gadget then fell to the 35th floor of the skyscraper.

Sean Nivin Riddle took to Twitter to said that he was flying the device to take pictures of the New York scene.

He said: "filming w/ drone, now its stuck on the empire state building….w/security."

Mr Riddle was taken into custody by authorities in connection to the incident, according to the New York Police Department.

The initial crash brought a significant police and FBI response to the landmark at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street as a precaution, NBC New York reported.

Last month, the FAA unveiled that 300,000 owners have registered their small-unmanned aircraft in the first 30 days its online registration system went live on December 21, 2015.

Disney, for example, has also applied to use drones over its parks to help with its night shows.

The company filled a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in August 2014, but only now the document has been made public.

According to the patent, Disney pretends to use the devices to fly over the crowds a "plurality of flexible projection screens".

The flexible projection screens comprise a mesh body configured to have low wind resistance and to provide a projection surface for reflecting light. A projector will then be used to project light onto the projection surface of at least one of the flexible projection screens during the display time period.

The display system includes a ground control station running a fleet management module or program to choreograph the movement of the UAVs and for controlling (in some cases) operation of the projectors to provide a dynamic aerial display by selectively projecting lights and/or images onto the moving and/or selectively positioned display screens or scrims, according to the filed patent.

Disney has also said that as many as 50 drones could be flying at a given time to create the ultimate experience for children and adults.

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