PERRY -- The Georgia National Fair could become a no-fly zone this year should the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority Board vote to make fair-goers leave their drones and remote-controlled airplanes at home.
The board will vote Sept. 9 on whether it will adopt the new protocol that was suggested by the fairgrounds’ public safety department, said Stacy Campbell, director of marketing and media relations for the fairgrounds.
“Basically, (the proposed rule is) just for public safety to make sure we know what’s happening during the fair at all times,” Campbell said.
Should the board adopt the rule, it would have to apply with the Federal Aviation Administration to have the 1,100-acre complex designated an official no-fly zone.
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Prohibited devices would include drones, lightweight aircraft, hang gliders and “things that are considered either remote-controlled or light weight, because technically those can fly under 500 feet,” Campbell said. “An aircraft obviously has to go through more precautions to be able to fly, but these don’t necessarily have to do that.”
While drones and other flying objects have not been an issue at the fair in years past, Campbell said the proposed measure is proactive given the increasing popularity of such devices.
No-fly zones prohibiting drones and similar devices have become protocol during other large attractions such as football games at the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium or Atlanta Braves baseball games at Turner Field.
“We just kind of want to be in line with other large-scale events,” Campbell said. “You have to adapt to changing times, and (flying objects) seem to be the newest area of public safety concerns.”
The fair is set for Oct. 8-18.
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4334 or follow her on Twitter@Lauraecor.