If you're going to see the Pope, leave your drones at home.

From CNN Money

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement Tuesday reminding Papal visitors and residents that drones would not be permitted anywhere in the cities of Washington D.C., New York or Philadelphia during the Pope's visit.

The ban also extends to surrounding communities.

"Anyone flying a drone within the designated restricted areas may be subject to civil and criminal charges," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

The FAA said flying a drone "anywhere Pope Francis will visit is against the law."

The ban extends to all unmanned aircraft, including radio-controlled model aircraft, and is in effect during the Pope's visit from September 22 through September 27.

Prior to this ban, drones were banned only in Philadelphia under a ban issued in mid-August.

Full article here

Views: 984

Comment by Scott W on September 15, 2015 at 1:46pm

Considering MOST drone flyers are back yard hobbyists, I don't see how this is any different from saying you can't swim in your own swimming pool, or play tennis in your own back yard, while the pope is here. 

I can't believe we live in a society with such totalitarian overlords, and are simply happy and OK with it.

Comment by Muhammad Al-Rawi on September 15, 2015 at 3:54pm

Nice image revision :)

Comment by Francisco K on September 15, 2015 at 4:20pm

That should put a stop on those idiots wanting to fly over the Pope's head.....

Comment by Darrell Burkey on September 15, 2015 at 9:32pm

@Scott - Unless your backyard is in the designated restricted area I'm sure it will be fine for you to go swimming while the Pope is visiting. Of course, if he happens to stop by your place for a swim then you may have to put the copters away until he leaves.

Comment by Pedals2Paddles on September 16, 2015 at 5:20am

This is a bit misleading, and typical news media spin.  Nobody has "issued a ban on drones" for the pope's visit. The media is just playing it off like that because it make a nice click-bait headline.

A temporary flight restriction (TFR) for VIP movement will be issued for the areas the Pope is visiting.  This is standard practice for visiting heads of state, political "targets", and large public events.  This has been standard practice for decades.  This is nothing new, and certainly nothing specific to drones.  TFRs for VIP movement have existed since long before drones existed.  They cover all aircraft, including model aircraft and UAVs.  Furthermore, the DC portion of his visit is entirely within the FRZ airspace. Model aircraft and UAVs have been prohibited in the FRZ forever.  Nothing new there.

But, if the media reported the entire reality of it, that wouldn't sell as many advertising hits.

Comment by Hugues on September 16, 2015 at 5:23am

I see no mention of drones in Nostradamus nor Malachie's popes prophecies , so the pope will be fine. The only issue with such a ban is that angels will have to take the bus !

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on September 16, 2015 at 5:48am


I suspect that many hobby drone operators have no idea of what a NOTAM is let alone know when one has been issued by the FAA for a given area.

As an AMA member I receive flight restriction notices whenever VIPs will be in the Miami area otherwise I would never know that a NOTAM had been issued for the area.



Comment by Pedals2Paddles on September 16, 2015 at 6:32am

Of course, I agree completely.  My issue (as per usual) the media's skewing of this into looking someone took specific action to specifically ban drones specifically from the Pope's event.

Comment by BacklashRC on September 16, 2015 at 7:38am

I got a post from the FAA on my Facebook feed yesterday. (Not specific to me)  The post said that drone flights are prohibited in D.C., Philly, and New York during the Pope's visit.  I think that it is pretty outrageous that the FAA would prohibit a UAV operator, operating many miles from the dignitary, from flying from his/her own private property, in his/her own privately owned airspace (the USSC has stated that a property owner owns as much airspace above the property as he or she can reasonably use in connection with that property).

This has simply gotten out of hand.  I do not live in any of those areas, and have no intention of flying in any restricted areas.  I simply think that we cede too much authority, too easily, to an agency that is obviously woefully unprepared to handle the integration of UAV's into the NAS.

I understand the FAA's mission.  I respect the need for safety in the air, but this prohibition is onerous and overreaching.  The flight restriction will also have no effect on a bad actor already intent on breaking other laws for whatever silly, nefarious reason that bad actors have.

Comment by Pedals2Paddles on September 16, 2015 at 8:57am

To your point, this is a case where model aircraft and UAVs evolved way faster than the speed of government.  The TFR system was developed long before any of this stuff existed. It was designed for manned aircraft.  Model aircraft were not even a factor in the development of the TFR system.  Model aircraft didn't have HD cameras. And they only flew around in circles at a few designated and controlled AMA club locations, operated by a small group of grumpy old men.

The most logical approach is for the TFR to specify model aircraft and UAVs as prohibited in a much smaller defined radius. It's unlikely the bureaucracy at the FAA will every get around to make that change to the system.


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