Drones banned during Pope's U.S. visit


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

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  • Lol. Good find, the pics in that link are priceless.

  • So if the Pope decides to fly his own drone maybe Michael Huerta will be there himself to slap the cuffs on the Pontiff.

    30 nm "No Fly" zones for micro drones.  Shear lunacy by the FAA ... or is that just laziness?  Probably both.

  • Please take care of the Pope guys, the only few good things that we did from Argentine last times. ;)

  • I'd disagree on the "irrelevant" part, but to each his or her own view.

    If a government institution  wants to call someone's  20g nanodrone, or their  boomerang,  a UAV or aircraft, and bring up "law" when flown on private property and 10' up, fine. I  just hope we have not reached a point in this country where a government institution's press releases are blindly accepted by everyone regardless of context and common sense. Cliché but true nonetheless: The people via congress make laws, and courts interpret. Not the FAA,  nor you or I.

  • "Some legal experts" having an opinion is irrelevant. The TFR is law, and the TFR specifically prohibits model aircraft, UAVs, and model rockets.  Someone having an opinion on the matter doesn't change that.  I think it's unreasonably prohibitive too. But it is what it is right now.

  • > You are correct.  You are not allowed to fly your 2lb plastic toy 30 miles away from the Pope. 

    That's what the FAA says. Some legal experts would say others otherwise ...

    Remember that  to date the only "closed" case has been FAA v Pirker. The FAA lost the first round, the NTSB on appeal declared that anything that flies is an aircraft, after which the case was settled and Pirker admitted no guilt whatsoever. I suspect both  FAA and the NTSB were happy to see this case settle and move on,  on what otherwise would have been very shaky legal grounds at best, if not plain ridiculous and embarrassing.

    I doubt the FAA would win a case against someone, say,  flying a one pound  model aircraft below the treeline and within their own property. Huffing and puffing with respect to "drones" does make a law, but as you said earlier it's good click baiting. Might also help directing attention away from the fact that the FAA is repeatedly missing deadlines imposed by congress, and is well behind most western countries when it comes to drone regulation.

    In practice I hope common sense along with existing laws such as reckless endangerment will prevail. Or as Chris A. has said, no mass jackassery .. Don't fly a heavy lifter 1000' up in the pope's vicinity. But your are fine flying your nano drone 10' off you back porch.

  • It's a 30nm radius around a specific point, roughly the center of downtown. So if you're on the edge, you should verify to be more precise.  You are correct.  You are not allowed to fly your 2lb plastic toy 30 miles away from the Pope.  But if you go 31 miles away from the Pope, you're fine.

  • That's pretty fascinating.  Since I live right around 30 miles outside Philly, technically it would be illegal to put my Phantom up in the backyard that weekend, but fine it I drove 5-10 minutes down the road to the park where I normally fly.  Right?

  • Further information:  For NYC, the TFR is the lateral boundaries of the class B airspace.


  • It is a 30 mile radius for philly. (  You can expect similar for NYC.  I wouldn't be surprised the the DC FRZ expands to encompass the entire SFRA, which is the usual procedure for heads of state visits.

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