Super Bowl 50 Shuts Down All Drone Traffic In Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley has been temporarily grounded. From 2 p.m. until midnight on Super Bowl Sunday, pretty much all of the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Jose and most of the Valley will be off limits to unmanned autonomous aircraft, otherwise known as drones.
“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,” reads a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.
That means that the region’s resident tech titans like GoogleGOOGL -3.60% and AppleAAPL -2.96% will need to keep all projects requiring quadcopters and other unmanned aerial vehicles on the ground during the game and the after-party. For one day only, it seems, even the Valley’s vaunted startup “unicorns” will be unable to fly… their drones, at least.
Despite reports claiming that the FAA will shoot down drones caught flying in the Super Bowl no-fly zone, I’ve been unable to find any public statements from the agency to that effect , although one FAA spokesperson has been quoted by NBC as saying
“The United States Government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.”
So yea, maybe just do as the kindly folks at the FAA say, and leave those drones at home on game day. And if you’re just looking to practice some flying at a park in Palo Alto, you better be sure that the federal government doesn’t have any reason to consider your drone an imminent security threat — maybe just stay inside and watch commercials with the rest of us instead.