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If you watched Lady Gaga's performance at this year's Super Bowl, you saw what can be accomplished with a swarm of drones. What you may not know is that the drone display had to be recorded in advance to avoid violating airspace rules.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates drones even if they are being flown only for fun. If a drone is more than 0.55 pounds, it must be registered with the FAA and labeled with its registration number. The person registering the drone must be at least 13 years old and a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

If a drone is being used for a commercial purpose, such as aerial photography or video for real estate listings, the pilot must be at least 16 years old, pass a test, and be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration.

In all cases, a drone operator must follow thesesafety guidelines:

  1. Never fly over groups of people.
  2. Never fly over stadiums or sporting events.
  3. Never fly near other aircrafts.
  4. Never fly near emergency response efforts, such as police activity, firefighting, or rescues.

Flying a drone in a reckless manner is a violation of federal law and FAA regulations and can result in civil fines or criminal action.