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November 20, 2018

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Did you see anti-Wynn banner over his Las Vegas property? FAA says you didn’t


Courtesy @UltraViolet

A screen grab from a tweeted image shows an apparent aerial banner that reads, “Wynn is a sexual predator.”

Updated Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 | 12:37 p.m.

An advocacy group’s claim that a plane towing an anti-Steve Wynn banner flew over the Wynn Las Vegas on Wednesday is false, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

UltraViolet, which campaigns for women’s issues such as reproductive rights and health care, earlier Wednesday released a statement detailing plans to deliver its aerial message between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. But no picture or video of the flyover surfaced until UltraViolet sent out a tweet alleging they carried it out.

The message of “Wynn is a sexual predator” is in response to a Wall Street Journal story revealing multiple sexual misconduct allegations against the casino mogul. Wynn has denied the allegations.

UltraViolet subsequently said the plane didn't actually fly over the Wynn.

The company commissioned to make the flight said the aircraft never came closer than about 3 miles from the Strip.

The FAA said there was no activity in the airspace around Strip property and no request was made to do so, which would be required to operate an aircraft in that space. The photo only showed a plane in the sky, with no visible identifiable landmarks.

“The group’s claim is false,” said Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesperson. “We did not approve any banner-towing flights in the Las Vegas Class B airspace today, and no aircraft violated the Class B airspace today.”

Class B airspace is highly controlled airspace around McCarran International Airport, and anyone who wants to fly in that airspace would have to get authorization from air traffic control and would need advance approval to tow a banner, Gregor said.

“We would approve or deny the request based on when and where they want to fly, as well as expected traffic type and volume during the proposed flight times,” he said.

Despite its social media claim, UltraViolet said Thursday that the plane never flew over the Wynn.

The closest it came was about 3 miles from the Strip, said Patrick Walsh, chief executive officer for AirSign, the company UltraViolet commissioned to fly the plane.

“It was our intent to, but we could not get over the Wynn hotel,” Walsh said. “The plane covered traffic going toward the Strip. It was just was not able to get over the Strip. Because of the flight pattern on that given day from McCarran airport, we could not get over the Wynn hotel.”