Ahead of the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks celebration along the East River, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and leadership from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) briefed the media on threats to the public and security preparations ahead of the show.

During a press conference on Monday, John Chell, the Chief of the New York City Police Department Patrol Services Bureau, reassured the public by stating, “At present, there are no verified and substantiated threats targeting the July Fourth fireworks display or any other festivities occurring in New York City.” His statement aims to provide assurance regarding the security and safety of the upcoming celebrations in the city.

Macy’s has scheduled this year’s fireworks show at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will showcase a spectacular display of 60,000 shells in various vibrant colors and unique shapes. The fireworks will be launched from barges along the East River near midtown Manhattan. Alongside the pyrotechnics, viewers tuning into the televised broadcast can enjoy live musical performances from artists such as Ashanti, Bebe Rexha, and the Roots. It promises to be an unforgettable evening of entertainment.

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks barge locations and public viewing areas (Image Credit: Macy's)
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks barge locations and public viewing areas (Image Credit: Macy’s)


To ensure a secure environment, a significant number of police officers and assets will be strategically deployed across the city, actively screening individuals attending the fireworks display for any prohibited items.

NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau Assistant Chief Judy Harrison commented on the security preparations, “The majority of our assets will be visible, but understandably there will be some assets that are not visible for obvious reasons, but rest assured, they will be out there.” She continued, “We will deploy plain-clothes teams, heavy weapons teams, bomb squad response teams, drone detection and interdiction teams, and radiation detection equipment.”

A review of the B4UFly application and other sites reveals a 14 CFR 99.7 Special Security Instruction (SSI) Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) covering a rectangular-shaped area that includes parts of Manhattan, the East River, Queens, and Brooklyn. This rectangular-shaped area includes the location of the Macy’s fireworks show.

Notice to Air Mission (NOTAM) FDC 3/9964 for the area near the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks along the East River near Midtown Manhattan. (Image Credit: Federal Aviation Administration)
Notice to Air Mission (NOTAM) FDC 3/9964 for the area near the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks along the East River near Midtown Manhattan. (Image Credit: Federal Aviation Administration)


According to the Notice to Air Mission (NOTAM), “No UAS operations are authorized in the areas covered by the NOTAM (except as described).” The NOTAM does allow certain UAS operations but requires a Special Government Interest (SGI) waiver. The SGI waiver is required for law enforcement, firefighting, public safety, or media drones who wish to fly in the TFR. Drone operators should always check for flight restrictions before launching to ensure that they are not flying in restricted airspace.

A NOTAM serves as an important notice providing time-sensitive information vital to individuals involved in flight operations. It encompasses essential details that may not be disseminated through other channels in a timely manner. Rather than conveying the standard status of a National Airspace System (NAS) component, a NOTAM specifically highlights any abnormal conditions or changes. Its purpose is to ensure that relevant personnel knows critical updates regarding the NAS.

The NOTAM further states that UAS operators who do not comply with the applicable airspace restrictions are warned that authorized federal agencies, such as the Department of Justice or Department of Homeland Security, may take security action that results in the interference, disruption, seizure, damaging, or destruction of unmanned aircraft deemed to pose a credible safety or security threat to protected personnel, facilities, or assets.

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks has become a beloved tradition in New York City, captivating audiences nationwide since 1976. This year marks the 47th edition of the spectacular event, created and brought to life by Macy’s in collaboration with Pyro Spectaculars by Souza. The awe-inspiring 25-minute display is meticulously choreographed to a magnificent musical soundtrack, showcasing a wide array of dazzling shells and stunning effects in an impressive palette of 30 vibrant colors and shapes.

Current Administrative Code in New York City, § 10-126- Avigation in and over the city, makes it “..unlawful for any person avigating an aircraft to take off or land, except in an emergency, at any place within the limits of the city other than places of landing designated by the department of transportation or the port of New York authority.”

On July 7th, the New York Police Department (NYPD) will hold a public hearing on amending the rules to create a procedure by which members of the public can submit applications to launch or land an unmanned aircraft or drone within New York City.

Post Image- B4UFly Screenshot of the TFR around the area of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Celebration (Image Credit: Aloft)