Permanent TFRs issued for major sporting events and Disney properties

October 27… The FAA has issued three new Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) creating restrictions for the airspace surrounding major sporting events and the Disney properties in Anaheim, CA and Kissimmee/Orlando, FL. The new flight restrictions permanently prohibit the operation of radio control model aircraft at any time within 3 nm (3.5 statute miles) of both the Disneyland and Disney World theme parks, and for a period of 1 hr before and 1 hr after major sporting events.

The NOTAM/TFRs read in part… commencing one hour before the scheduled time of the event until one hour after the end of the event. All aircraft operations; including parachute jumping, unmanned aircraft and remote controlled aircraft, are prohibited within a 3 nm radius from the surface up to and including 3,000’ above ground level of any stadium having a seating capacity of 30,000 or more people where either a regular or post season Major League Baseball, National Football League, or NCAA Division One football game is occurring. This NOTAM also applies to NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ series races excluding qualifying and pre-race events. Flights conducted for operational purposes of any event, stadium or venue and broadcast coverage for the broadcast rights holder are authorized with an approved airspace waiver. An FAA airspace waiver does not relieve operators from obtaining all other necessary authorizations and complying with all applicable federal aviation regulations. The restrictions described above do not apply to those aircraft authorized by and in contact with ATC for operational or safety of flight purposes, Department of Defense, law enforcement, and air ambulance flight operations… Flights conducted for operational purposes of any Disneyland event and venue are authorized with an approved waiver.

Visit the AMA “FAA NOTAMs” page for more information…

Rich Hanson
AMA Government and Regulatory Affairs




  1. This seems like a good, common sense TFR, the type I would hope the AMA is helping the FAA to craft. I’m sorry that it even needs to be done – but common sense ain’t so common these days. I expect to see more of these issued against outdoor concert venues, highways, bridges and law enforcement activities in the near future.

  2. Are there any model airplane fields within 3nm of Disney properties or other stadiums. If there are, could carve outs be applied to limit flying at those fields to the area around the field so that model aviation is not impacted?

  3. There are many amusement parks in the country. Why are the Disney ones the only ones this applies to.

  4. 3.5 miles!!!! I live within 3.5 miles of Disneyland and Angel Stadium, this is some pretty large chunks of land they are affecting, for no logical purpose. Half a mile is plenty to keep RC activities from intruding. This TFR has obviously been bought and paid for by Disney and major league sports who obviously get more attention from the FAA than the AMA does. And you know how that works…. some FAA guys are going to get cushy jobs working for Disney or the NFL.

  5. I find it amazing how fast our government is to make severe restrictions on aviation enthusiasts. However, when it comes to protecting the public from the Ebola Viris Spreading through out the United States, we here deadly silence. I would suggest that everyone vote your opinion at the next election.

  6. I am curious how a private corporation can get FAA APPROVAL for a flight perimeter envelope??? If Disney can do it then the FAA can extend this to ANY COMPANY in the USA. Then by extension, every residence… Then there will be NO legal place to fly these but the problem is that the FAA has already overstepped its bounds by attempting to tell us that we cannot utilize these small aircraft in our businesses. They have NO Constitutional right to reach into private business and say we cannot use these craft. They do not own the airspace. They REGULATE PORTIONS of the airspace. What they are trying to do is increase the “portion” over which they have jurisdiction. I for one will fight it every step of the way as a responsible commercial drone user and drone system developer.
    I wrote a proposal for the FAA detailing how they can be nearly hands off in the small drone industry and STILL get what they want, which is what we all want, and that is to keep small RC multicopters OUT of flight corridors and airspace near airports. The measures put the burden on the drone makers and import restrictions will exist for any drone NOT meeting the geofencing criteria that companies like DJI already have in place. Coupled with systems like our modular Collision Avoidance system we are developing and a responsible recovery system (which would be mandated) such fencing and anti-collision technology go a long way toward making sure these are as safe as possible and remove from the end user the ability to use them illegally.
    -Marc Dantonio

  7. This is pretty much BS for me. I live much less than the distance stated from Disney land. I fly very small quad copiers in my front yard now and then. They are useless if you can’t see them. Meaning they are never going to be more than 50ft from where I’m standing.

  8. So I guess I’m good to go at FIFA, any outdoor NHL games, or over any of the Six flags over Magic Mountain, and other theme parks throughout the USA? This seems very poorly written from any point of view. As a flyer… I’m confused as to why some and not others… as an outsider, I’m wondering how much Disney greased the palms of the FAA… I would like to know the incidences of a model going out of control of the operator and traveling 3nm. How about something more reasonable like 1nm? AMA flyers know the ceiling is 400′, yet it’s written for 3,000’…. clearly they are trying to cover guys who are not AMA members… in which case, they probably won’t comply anyway.

  9. why is Disney so damn special ? they are a self governing entity with their own police and laws . when an accident happens at one of their parks they investigate and absolve themselves of culpability all in one day . nobody else could pull that off .

  10. Seems like there was some heavy lobbying from Disney concerning flight restrictions. How about 6 Flags and Seaworld, did they not pay enough?
    Who’s pocket has hands in from the entertainment industry?

  11. Follow the money. Just follow the rules and fly over at 3001 feet as required, they should have no problem with that since the current guidelines are just recommendations (400′)

  12. Sounds about right. The government has issued a permanent temporary restriction.

  13. The FAA really going overboard. This action can be considered as simple provocation or attempt to ultimate dictate.

  14. Unbelievable. And so it begins. The required 3.5 mi separation is unreasonable, and likely could lead to Federal charges being brought against a homeowner in the 38 square mile + area, should that person innocently fly a micro quad or Vapor in their back yard. If this is a hysterical Homeland Security response to a perceived threat from ISIL or other terrorist group, it offers little or no benefit. Such groups will operate outside the confines of Federal rules. We should all watch the “Twilight Zone” episode “The Monsters are Due in Maple Street” to see how hysteria plays out.

    If, on the other hand, it is the goal of FAA to restrict us to reservations, remember how that worked for the indigenous Americans about 150 years ago.

  15. I had a friend out at Sturgis motorcycle rally and he heard a buzzing and looked up and saw a drone flying over the crowd , not to smart. It is a wonder that ISIS hasn’t put 5# of plastic explosives in a plane or quad with a first person view set up and flew several miles into some event. So every good person will have to pay for the idiots.

    1. What if, what if, what if, I could come up with hundreds of what ifs that have nothing to do with UAV’s. What if ISIS straps a bomb to a ultralight pilot and flies directly into packed stadium? Should we now outlaw all ultralight flights, just in case? And now that it outlawed by the FAA, you can rest assured that no one hell bent on doing what you described would dare violate the restriction.

    2. Have you ever been to the Sturgis rally? Given that a lot of the guys are packing guns, flying a small drone over the crowd is probably one of the least dangerous things going on there. Sturgis and law abiding activities don’t really go hand in hand.

  16. I am sure this TFR will prevent any nut case from flying a radio controlled craft over a stadium or Disneyland. After all, nut cases never break the laws.

  17. This has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with privacy for big corporations that can buy off the FAA. Terrorists don’t follow rules and won’t stop anyone with an agenda to do harm. There is no reason this can’t be expanded to any business or residence if you have enough money.

  18. For giggles, I exercised the waiver request process to fly a micro-heli in my front yard, which is 2.6NM from Beaver Stadium (Penn State) during an upcoming football weekend. It was dutifully denied. I’ve taken that denial, along with the name and contact person of the FAA official that denied, and sent these to both US Senators to ask for their help in a more reasonable implementation. The FAA rep who called to ask questions said “It’s in the law”. Well, the authority and limitations are there, but what’s not in the law is how the FAA defines the TFR. While many TFRs are a blanket 3NM diameter, there are a good number that are not. That tells me that there is wiggle room for the FAA to better define the TFRs…which is what I’m asking the Senators to “encourage” them to do. We’ll see how it turns out.

  19. So what exactly do we have to show for all the money we’ve spent on the lobbying effort? Section 336? Hardly worth much apparently, as NTSB just drove a stake through the whole “model aircraft exclusion.”

    1. Just for clarification… The TFR restrictions around the Disney properties and the major sporting events were passed into law by Congress in 2003, long before the UAS issue emerged and before the AMA was involved in any lobbying efforts or the sUAS issue in general. The recent FAA notice regarding the TFRs was its clarification that the aircraft operating restriction/prohibitions listed in the TFR also apply to radio control unmanned aircraft.

      Rich Hanson
      AMA Government and Regulatory Affairs

      1. Again, if the 336 language came AFTER the TFR regulation, it’s been totally ineffective at influencing the continued ability to fly. “The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if– (1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use. I applied to fly in my own house — inside — for hobby use, and the FAA still denied it (got that denial yesterday). This would at face value seem to demonstrate that 336 is ineffective.

  20. I think the Notams for Disney and sporting events have less to do with security than we might think. A few weeks ago, my family went to the OUvBaylor game in norman ok. Up to an hour before, there were gen av planes pulling banners with advertising.

    I have been to Disney to Orlando fl multiple times and just about every day – you can see blimps and planes with banners flying over metro Orlando.

    I may be wrong, but for Disney, they want their guests who spend a lot at their parks not to advertised to by what they do not control. And for sporting events, the networks are pretty protective of their copyright broadcasts. Imagine if someone had a great camera and copter that could stay aloft for 4 hours and someone could do their own internet broadcast of what they were filming. Just think, all those bad sports reporters would be out of a job.

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