A pilot who flew a drone into M&T Bank Stadium’s airspace Thursday night time, twice stalling the Baltimore Ravens division rival matchup in opposition to the Cincinnati Bengals, was unaware of the restricted zone, the Maryland Stadium Authority mentioned Friday.
Referees stopped the sport and gamers cleared the sphere as a result of the airspace round any National Football League stadium is off-limits for an hour earlier than and after a recreation. Despite the odd delay, the Ravens emerged victorious.
Officials from the Maryland Stadium Authority and Maryland State Police tracked and responded to the place the drone operator was and instructed them to land the drone. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident and can decide whether or not the pilot might be penalized.
The officers “identified and interviewed the pilot/operator who was unaware of the restrictions and did not have a [temporary flight restriction] waiver to operate the drone in stadium airspace during the game,” a stadium authority spokesperson mentioned.
Although the FAA can’t criminally prosecute offenders, it may possibly superb drone operators greater than $30,000 if their conduct is unsafe and endangers different plane or folks on the bottom. The FAA also can droop or revoke pilot certifications.
“The FAA encourages the public to report unauthorized drone operations to local law enforcement and to help discourage this dangerous, illegal activity,” a spokesperson mentioned in an announcement.
Along with NFL video games, drones can’t be flown inside 3 miles of a stadium earlier than or after any Major League Baseball and NCAA Division One soccer video games or NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car and Champ Series races.
Drone disruptions have turn into an rising problem for venue safety nationwide.
Maryland Stadium Authority officers say extra enforcement is required.
“The drone detection technology the Maryland Stadium Authority implemented in 2021 has been effective for detecting unauthorized drones operating in airspace around the Camden Yards Sport Complex, but more needs to be done around drone security,” Vernon J. Conaway Jr., the stadium authority’s vp of security and safety, mentioned in an announcement.
Stadium safety officers can observe and determine unauthorized drones and their pilots, however state and native legislation enforcement ought to have extra authority to make use of “counter-drone measures to mitigate those drones that pose a credible threat to our venues,” Conaway continued.
All leisure flyers are required by legislation to cross a security check, they usually should register the drone with the FAA.
Last month, Columbus police charged a 28-year-old man for test-flying a drone over the Ohio Stadium throughout the Ohio State and Maryland soccer recreation, inflicting the gamers to depart the sphere.
Maryland Stadium Authority officers in 2021 employed a safety firm that focuses on drone detection after a drone hovered close to M&T Bank Stadium for 10 minutes throughout a December recreation in opposition to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The authority needed to beef up its detection safety that yr for the upcoming Orioles season at Camden Yards.
New indicators round Camden Yards remind followers the stadium is a “No Drone Zone.”