Fireworks burst over the Hatch Shell during the finale of the Boston Pops Fourth of July Concert in Boston, Thursday, July 4, 2013.
Photograph by Michael Dwyer - Associated Press
By Barb Darrow
June 25, 2015

Anyone planning to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle during the big Boston July fourth shindig, better rethink that plan. Drones, private or official, are barred from the event on the river Charles, state officials said Thursday.

That ordinary citizens would be prohibited from flying their quadcopters over the crowd was not a surprise given that two people were hit by a drone at the Marblehead Memorial Day parade.

The fireworks-and-Boston-Pops-concert draw an estimated half-a-million people each year, so security was already tight—coolers and other paraphernalia have been verboten for years. But controls got even stricter after the Boston Marathon bombings two years ago.

Given that, you might expect that law enforcement would use its own drones to monitor the crowd, but that will not be the case, according to State Police superintendent Tim Alben.

“There won’t be any government drones here, there won’t be drones at all here,” Alben told reporters at a press event on the Boston esplanade Thursday.

Congress and the FAA are all noodling over how much to restrict the use of drones over civilian areas. The FAA recently published data outlining some 190 drone incidents over a nine-month stretch in 2014 and Senator Dianne Feinstein is pushing the Consumer Drone Safety Act.

If you want to see what fireworks look like from a drone’s point of view check out this video:


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