Congressman Cohen Applauds Introduction of the SONG Act in the Senate
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today applauded the introduction of the Stadiums Operating under New Guidance (SONG) Act in the U.S. Senate by Tennessee Senators Marsha Blackburn and Lamar Alexander and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts. The bill would give the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the authority to issue Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) for concerts and other events held at stadiums across the country.
Congressman Cohen led the introduction of a companion measure in the House in July, joined by Tennessee Congressmen Jim Cooper, Tim Burchett, John Rose and David Kustoff.
The FAA currently has the authority to issue TFRs for major sporting events held at stadiums but not for other types of large-audience events. When a concert is held in the very same stadium, often with the same size or even larger crowd, the air space cannot be restricted by a TFR.
Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
“Fans from around the world flock to places like Memphis and Nashville to experience the music and catch a glimpse of the life lived by music legends. Keeping spectators safe in public gatherings of large numbers of people for any kind of event just makes sense, and this bill simply gives the FAA authority to restrict air space when it considers it to be necessary.”
Senator Blackburn made the following statement:
“Whether Tennesseans are going to a concert or a UT Vols football game, they should be able to enjoy the fun without worrying about unsafe skies. This is Drone Safety Awareness Week, we are introducing the SONG Act so that stadium patrons across the country can trust they’ll be out of harm’s way while they are at a special event.”
Senator Alexander made the following statement:
Tennessee attracts thousands of people who visit our state each year for concerts or music festivals, such as the Country Music Association (CMA) Fest, and Senator Blackburn’s legislation would allow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue a temporary flight restriction for smaller aircraft and drones over stadiums for concerts or music festivals the same way the FAA currently does for sporting events.”
Senator Markey made the following statement:
“Our skies have become a Wild West and drones can wander with few rules anywhere. That’s why we need commonsense policies to address the risk of someone crashing a drone or dropping a dangerous payload on crowds of innocent people. Although the FAA can currently restrict the air space over sporting events, they don’t have the same authority for different kinds of events, even at the same venue. The SONG Act will remove this limit and allow the FAA to protect fans gathered at stadiums like Fenway Park, no matter whether they’re there to see the Red Sox or their favorite band. I thank Senator Blackburn for her partnership on this essential legislation.”