FAA says heavens must remain drone-free during pope’s U.S. visit
And God said let them “fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” However, the FAA disagrees—at least in respect to drone flight.
So, if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis next week on the East Coast via your fancy flying machine, otherwise known as a drone, know that the FAA isn’t cool with it.
The Federal Aviation Administration said late Tuesday it has set up “No Drone Zones” in Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia for the Papal visit from September 22 through September 27. Officials hinted that this would be the policy last month.
“If you plan to attend any of the Papal visit events, please leave your drone at home,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a note. He added that anyone tempted to send their unmanned gadgets into the heavens during the banned period could face “civil and criminal charges.”
Read: Watch Francis’s U.S. tour: 6 days, 3 cities, 20 events
The FAA points out that the airspace in Washington, D.C. is already pretty restricted, with any type of unmanned aircraft that doesn’t get specific approval banned in cities, towns, regions and airports around the District of Columbia. The FAA has temporarily extended that ban for all aircraft, which includes Potomac Airfield, College Park, and Washington Executive/Hyde Park airports.
Read: ‘Pope Radio’ channel to launch on SiriusXM Sept. 21-27
The FAA also offered up some handy warning signs to help steer unwitting drone enthusiasts out of restricted areas, with or without the FAA logo: