Updated 3/20/15: Drone have also been explicitly banned from the Grand Prix.
Nothing lends legitimacy to products with staying power than attempts to ban them. This week’s news that drones have been banned from SXSW continues a growing trend of event coordination teams becoming more and more cognizant of commercial UAV technology.
From the SXSW blog:
SXSW has a strict no drones policy due to the safety risks drones present to the public, and pursuant to City of Austin Ordinance, Chapter 13-1. This policy was established after consultation with drone experts, user groups, municipal authorities and aviation safety experts. While SXSW may make exceptions to this policy if the drones are used within certain trade show areas where safety measures, such as tethering to the ground are implemented, the airwaves and/or frequency spectrums generally used in the remote control of drones are too congested during the SXSW event to ensure operation safe from interference.
The Austin Police Department will also be watching for drones in crowded and/or public areas where the drones could pose a risk to public safety. Drones flown in the City of Austin are subject to seizure by the Austin Police Department and the operators are subject to fines and/or arrest.
To be fair, the drone that disrupted a Serbia vs. Albania soccer match last October did an excellent job bringing the necessity of such restrictions, as that drone was trying to (and succeeded at) fanning the flames beneath an already politically tense matchup.
Drones have also been banned from the route of this year’s Boston Marathon, according to a member of the Hopkinton, MA Police Department who spoke with Dronelife.
SXSW can’t really be blamed for wanting to control to drones at this year’s festival after the major drone-related headline that came out of the event last year was about the Taser Drone, CUPID.
(Incidentally, we prefer this Cupid drone… it’s much less electrifying.)
All that being said, banning drones and preventing them from flying in prohibited airspace are two different beasts, as demonstrated by Operation Foul Ball which took place at last year’s MLB All Star Game.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com