WASHINGTON – Federal regulators say it’s illegal to fly drones or model planes near stadiums and that violators can face up to a year in prison.
The Federal Aviation Administration posted an updated notice to pilots online this week warning that drones and remotely controlled aircraft are included in a prohibition on aircraft flying over sports arenas issued in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The prior version of the notice, issued in 2009, makes no mention of drones or remotely controlled aircraft.
Attorneys familiar with the notice say it’s the first time the agency has sought to criminalize the use of drones and model planes.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown says the agency is merely trying to clarify that such craft are included in the prohibition since both are considered “aircraft.”