Saturday, June 14, 2014

Video drone warning for Newport Bermuda Race: Drones will not be allowed


Organizers of the Newport Bermuda Race, which takes place on June 20th, want to make spectators aware that the use of drones will not be allowed at the event.

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation Inspector issued a notification that the use of drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which are growing in popularity for photography and video purposes, could provide safety concerns to aircraft.

Anybody wishing to use drones, in general, must request permission from the Federal Aviation Administration.

However, the use of drones at public open air event would violate Rhode Island's Uniform Aeronautical Regulatory Act and Aeronautics Regulation.

The RIAC will receive support from the Rhode Island State Police and local law enforcement to enforce the drone law.


With more than 150 yachts maneuvering in the mouth of Narragansett Bay on June 20th, the start of the Newport Bermuda Race will be a spectacular sight, whether you’re watching from the nearby shore or a boat on the water. The first gun is scheduled for 12:50, and the last start is at 2:30.

Because the race start is close to land, many spectators prefer to gather at shoreside viewing points on high ground, such as the Castle Hill Inn. Reservations may be necessary, parking and other fees may be charged, and there may be restrictions on bringing in food.

Spectator boats are permitted to watch the Bermuda Race start if they strictly observe limit buoys, keep a careful lookout, and obey the instructions of Race Committee and U.S. Coast Guard personnel in patrol boats. Because the water will be crowded and rough, dinghies, kayaks, and and other small boats are strongly discouraged. Charter boats offering day trips are numerous at Newport. Many are listed at Newport Charter Boats.

All spectators should be aware the use of drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems/UAS) near outdoors public events is banned in Rhode Island. The following statement was issued by the Rhode Island Airport Corporation on June 12, 2014: “Any use of drones/UAS in the vicinity of any public open air event would violate Rhode Island’s Uniform Aeronautical Regulatory Act (UAR) and Aeronautics Regulations, constituting a misdemeanor. RIAC is enlisting the support of the RI State Police and local law enforcement departments to monitor and enforce this law.”

Source: Event media


The biannual Newport Bermuda Race is a 635-mile ocean race, much of it out of sight of land, usually lasting three to six days. It crosses a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean known for challenging weather, especially in the Gulf Stream, where there are strong currents. Every two years in mid-June, more than 150 boats take on the route from Newport, RI to Bermuda. Race website:

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