NFL receives permission from FAA for limited aerial drone use

NEW YORK -- The NFL's sky-high popularity now includes drones.

The league has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration for limited use of drones.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to The Associated Press that the drones will not be used on the day of games -- the league prohibits the use of drones on game day in stadiums and in parking lots.

McCarthy said NFL Films will be allowed to use drones and teams may film their own practices if they comply with local, state and federal guidelines.

"NFL Films will use the unique visual images captured by drones to enhance their filmmaking and storytelling," McCarthy said.

Drone crashes two days apart, at the U.S. Open in New York and before a Kentucky football game, made news earlier this month.

But over the past two years, more than 50 unmanned aircrafts have flown over Major League Baseball and NFL stadiums, coming and going quietly -- usually controlled by a hobbyist who either lost control of the device or wanted a picture of a favorite team in action.

Last October, the FAA issued notice that it's illegal to fly drones near Major League Baseball, NFL and NCAA Division I college football games, and major auto races. Other sporting events can put their own bans in place. But the penalties for violating a ban -- and who hands out those sentences -- is still murky.

Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press

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