New Orleans cancels plans for Super Bowl drone after press inquiries

Sounds like somebody neglected to research FAA rules before getting excited about putting an eye in the sky.

From BoingBoing

Above, "The Bravo 300," a tactical drone man­u­fac­tured in New Or­leans by Cres­cent Un­manned Sys­tems. Weeks after New Orleans local investigative paper The Lens began digging into city of­fi­cials’ plans to use a U.S. Home­land Se­cu­rity De­part­ment aer­ial drone to mon­i­tor crowds at the upcoming Super Bowl, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Lan­drieu announced that the city is no longer pursuing those plans.

Spokesman Ryan Berni of­fered no rea­son for drop­ping the eye-in-the-sky tech­nol­ogy, telling a re­porter to sub­mit a pub­lic-records re­quest. In a brief phone in­ter­view, he would say only that the de­ci­sion to ditch the drone was made “over the past sev­eral days.” In a fol­low-up email, Berni said Home­land Se­cu­rity would be pro­vid­ing a manned he­li­copter, equipped with a cam­era, and that “the City learned by phone in the last few weeks” about the switch.

Read more: City cancels plans for Super Bowl drone despite enthusiasm and inte... (

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Comment by Skydog222 on September 19, 2012 at 9:54pm

Sounds like it has nothing to do with the FAA....sounds like they are going for the cheaper option....

Before today’s reversal, three city officials confirmed that a government-supplied surveillance drone would be used over New Orleans during events associated with the upcoming Super Bowl, Feb. 3.


Comment by Rory Paul on September 20, 2012 at 6:56am

Do you honestly think that the FAA will give permission to fly a UAV over the Super Bowl government supplied or otherwise? Why risk a problem with an unmanned system when you have existing manned resources in the area that can take care of surveillance for the relatively short time required.  

Comment by Bill Patterson on September 20, 2012 at 9:45am

Why risk a problem with a manned resource when you have existing unmanned resources available?

It's just as valid.

Comment by Rory Paul on September 20, 2012 at 10:07am

Give me one example of an unmanned system that could operate over the Super Bowl without causing an absolute uproar..a Border Patrol Predator? The public and the ACLU would have absolute palpitations. You do no introduce the public to the prospect of 24/7 aerial surveillance at an event like this.  

Comment by Bill Patterson on September 20, 2012 at 8:13pm


Comment by Gareth Rens on September 21, 2012 at 12:20am

Perhaps someone asked "what if a motor fails?"

A drone crashing into a crowd at the superbowl would cause some seriously bad publicity for us!

Comment by Ellison Chan on September 21, 2012 at 9:54am

I agree with Rory.  It's one thing to use drones to patrol the borders, but the US public would probably no take kindly to be under drone surveillance themselves.  The was a good Outer Limits episode that explored the exact scenario.  Wish I could remember the title.  I think it was an episode in the mid-90s.  They were ahead of the curve, as usual.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 22, 2012 at 12:29am
Er..... This story has appeared in one way or another every year for the last three.
Comment by Strike Eagle III on September 29, 2012 at 3:32pm

So what's the difference in being under surveillance by a manned aircraft vs. an unmanned aircraft?  Seems to me like you're being watched either way... 

As far as worrying about if a motor fails, could you imagine if the Wright Brothers or any other aviation pioneer didn't fly out of similar concerns?   Two thumbs up to Bill P.'s comments.


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