Many by Sea, None by Air: No Drones Allowed at Newport Bermuda Boat Race

Well, this just takes the fun out of modern photography: If you want to take photos or videos at the Newport Bermuda 2014 race June 20, where about 170 boats are expected to compete, don’t do it via unmanned aircraft.

James Warcup, Rhode Island Airport Corporation Airport Inspector, issued a recent missive, through various media outlets, warning spectators and competitors at the race, that the use of drones (officially known as “unmanned aircraft systems”) near outdoor public events has been banned in the state. Why? They could be “a hazard to spectators, sailboats and manned helicopters,” according to Warcup. The race will begin at the mouth of Narragansett Bay.

Warcup wrote that due to the increased use of unmanned aircraft systems for photography purposes, the airport corporation mandates that anyone seeking to use a drone get permission from the Federal Aviation Administration. To do otherwise, he said, would violate the law and constitute a misdemeanor. Bermuda is the official host of the race, which attracts thousands of visitors to the City by the Sea. For all details, visit

We can’t help but wonder if someday, in the not too distant future, the drone ban will apply to Amazon deliveries.

Continue Reading Below