Blackburn, Markey, Alexander Introduce Legislation to Secure Stadiums During Events
Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Stadiums Operating under New Guidance (SONG) Act, which gives the Federal Aviation Administration the authority to issue Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) for concerts and other events held at stadiums across the country.
The SONG Act aims to enable FAA to issue TFRs for entertainment events outside of sports that occur at these same venues. Policy experts worked with the FAA to carefully craft the legislation.
Whether Tennesseans are going to a concert or a UT Vols football game, they should be able to enjoy the fun without worrying about unsafe skies,” said Senator Blackburn. “This Drone Safety Awareness Week, we are introducing the SONG Act so that stadium patrons across the country can trust they’ll be out of harm’s way while they are at a special event.”
“Our skies have become a Wild West and drones can wander with few rules anywhere,” said Senator Markey. “That’s why we need commonsense policies to address the risk of someone crashing a drone or dropping a dangerous payload on crowds of innocent people. Although the FAA can currently restrict the airspace over sporting events, they don’t have the same authority for different kinds of events, even at the same venue. The SONG Act will remove this limit and allow the FAA to protect fans gathered at stadiums like Fenway Park, no matter whether they’re there to see the Red Sox or their favorite band. I thank Senator Blackburn for her partnership on this essential legislation.”
“We continuously prepare for and work to anticipate a variety of potential risks that could impact our traveling public, our employees and our neighboring communities,” said Hank Shaw, Director of Corporate Security for the Massachusetts Port Authority. “We support the SONG Act. It’s a great example of Congress and the FAA empowering state and local partners to take charge of their own safety by extending Temporary Flight Restrictions for concerts and other events held at stadiums across the country. Safety and security are our top priority every day and we strive to identify and utilize every available tool to reinforce our multi-layered security system. I applaud Senator Markey and Senator Blackburn for addressing this public security concern.”
This story originally ran in Security Magazine.