A Kansas University official says the school is taking seriously an incident Saturday in which an unauthorized drone flew around Memorial Stadium right before the Texas-KU football game.
“We don’t want those things over a crowd,” said Chris Keary, assistant chief of the KU Office of Public Safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration closes airspace around the stadium during football games for a radius of three miles and up to 3,000 feet in the air, Keary said.
Sometimes the FAA grants waivers and local law enforcement is notified. That’s what happened Saturday when a group of pilots flew their private aircraft and blew smoke of various colors to entertain the pre-game crowd.
But around the same time, an unmanned aerial system, or drone, made its unauthorized appearance for about 15 minutes, Keary said.
“Our concern is that we had a device in the air … at the same time those pilots came over on a flyover. That could have potentially been serious,” he said.
Police tried to determine where the drone, which appeared to have a camera attached to it, came from, but it flew off in the direction of Strong Hall. Keary said he was reported the incident to the FAA. A spokesman for the FAA did not return a call for comment.
Last month, a student at the University of Texas was arrested for flying a drone during a football game at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. The FAA also is looking into a drone that allegedly flew over an NFL preseason game in Charlotte, N.C.
Federal regulations currently prohibit most non-military drones from being used but Congress has told the FAA to issue a ruling soon on the possibility of greater drone use by next year.