Residents of New York City are noticing “No Drone Zone” signs popping up in anticipation of Pope Francis’s arrival.
The signs have been put up by the Federal Aviation Administration to make sure residents know that no drones will be allowed anywhere near the holy man.
New York’s “no drone zone” will be in place through October 5, to cover both Pope Francis’ visit and the UN General Assembly.
It’s not the first time the FAA has created a “no drone zone.” The administration launched a publicity campaign earlier this year reminding people to keep their drones away from the Super Bowl.
And the whole Washington D.C. area is a permanent no-drone zone, thanks to rules put in place after the 9-11 attacks. The exception, of course, is if you get explicit permission ahead of time from the FAA.
The FAA promised to step up enforcement rules after a number of recent drone-related incidents.
Last week an out-of-control drone crashed into a baby and cut her on the head, according to the Pasedena Star-News.
Earlier this month a law school student got in trouble for crashing his drone into a football stadium, the Associated Press reports.
In California, a bill would ban flying drones over private property.
The FAA has rules for drones, but no comprehensive management system. That’s a problem that NASA is working to fix. The agency is building what amounts to an air traffic control network for the drone airspace.
The hope is that all commercial drone flights will eventually be pre-programmed and tracked, with virtual “geofences” around areas of particular security concern.
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