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Drone pilots face a $30,000 minimum fine if they fly anywhere near the Super Bowl stadium

Super Bowl LVI (56) is set to take place this Sunday, February 13th, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) on that day starting at 2:30 PM, Pacific Standard Time, and ending at 8:30 PM. Anyone caught flying a drone within the TFR’s 30-nautical-mile radius, covering the greater Los Angeles area, during that time faces drone confiscation, a minimum $30,000 fine and potential prison time.

The FAA has also put a TFR in place the day before, on Saturday, February 12th. Starting at 10:00 AM, leading up to the main TFR and event, drones aren’t permitted within a one mile radius of SoFi Stadium. Both TFRs cover an altitude of 18,000 feet. All details are published on the ‘FAA’s Safety Plan for Super Bowl LVI‘ page.

Exterior of SoFi Stadium in November 2021— Photo by Troutfarm27, used under CC BY-SA 4.0

TFRs are established regularly by the FAA all over the United States to prevent certain aerial operations including glider and drone flights from occurring during events where security will be in place. When the President, or even Vice President, visits a city, a TFR will be in effect. Outside of the Super Bowl, sporting events including Major League baseball games and National Basketball League basketball games regularly have a 5-nautical-mile TFR in place.

It is always important to check the FAA’s TFR website, which posts notices of TFRs 3-5 days in advance, to ensure you’re not flying illegally. Airspace apps including Aloft, UASidekick, and the FAA’s B4UFly also notify users of TFRs as they’re happening. Events with high levels of security, including the Super Bowl, have additional protection by way of helicopters and fighter jets. It’s in your best interest to not take flight when any TFR, especially this one, is active.