Austin declared a drone-free zone during SXSW

Folks don't like drones in Texas, local police chief warns

Using a drone at the South By Southwest festival might put you in jail.

Organizers of the popular annual event said this week that flying of drones is banned for safety reasons.

"The airwaves and/or frequency spectrums generally used in the remote control of drones are too congested during the SXSW event to ensure operation safe from interference," they said in a statement.

Many drones use Wi-Fi frequencies for control and with tens of thousands of people due in Austin, Texas, for the digital-friendly event, the airwaves are expected to be full of signals.

The Austin Police Department will be watching for drones in crowded or public areas and anyone flying one could have it seized, the organizers warned.

Austin's police chief, Art Acevedo, gave a slightly more colorful warning.

"Believe me, in the state of Texas folks don't like drones, so if you operate one, we will get a call, you will be subject to confiscation or arrest," he told local TV station KEYE-TV on Wednesday.

Drones are increasingly in popularity and rules and regulations regarding their use are racing to catch up.

Private flight is governed under rules similar to those for model aircraft while the Federal Aviation Administration has banned commercial flight unless operators hold an exemption. The FAA recently published proposed rules for commercial use and is currently accepting comments from the public on the issue.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags popular scienceroboticsSXSWSouth By Southwest

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?