U.S. government bans use of drones in national parks

There has been a spur of interest with the use of GoPro video cameras on drones to record footage. Unfortunately, if you are one of these users that have planned to use your expensive drone to record footage in any of the 59 national parks in the U.S., although you can still take footage, you will be disappointed to find out that there has been a temporary ban on all drone usage in the parks. This ban has created "an instant no-fly zone of about 84 million acres," according to Digital Trends.This blanket ban has been issued due to a large amount of noise and nuisance complaints that have been made against the use of these devices.

There is also much concern for park visitors and the safety of native wildlife. Jonatan B. Jarvas stated in a National Park Service press release, "we embrace many activities in national parks because they enhance visitor experiences with the iconic natural, historic and cultural landscapes in our care,” but added that "we have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience.”

National Park Service via Digital Trends | Image via Shutterstock - carbon drone

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Apple's iWatch said to come in 'Sports' and 'Designer' models

Next Story

Jihadists in Iraq are hijacking Twitter's World Cup hashtags to spread propaganda

31 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

im guessing they want to test there own spy drones and dont want a clash in crystal frequency as some one might steel a military aircraft drone armed with guns hum.....!

This isn't quite as watertight as it seems. The new ruling "directs superintendents to use their existing authority within the Code of Federal Regulations to prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft,"
However, Thirty Six CFR 2.17(a)(3) states, “delivering or retrieving a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means, except in emergencies involving public safety or serious property loss, or pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit” is illegal.

None of the above covers a drone taking pictures. No persons or objects are being delivered or retrieved by a drone taking pictures.

The headline of this article is far too strong given the statutes backing it up.

If they are banning drones because they don't want people invading other's privacy then just say that. Don't claim it's because they are noisy. The local park by my house has several dozen RC planes flying every Sunday morning. I hear them loud and clear. But I also hear a bunch of kids playing soccer, baseball, skateboarding, ect ect. It's a freaking park, it isn't always going to be silent.

I live in a national park in the UK and one of my neighbours has a drone and it is incredibly noisy. However the batteries on these things don;t last at all so the maximum flight time is very low and to be fair people mowing there lawns is far far noisier and more disruptive.

Is this all drones or just ones operated by Joe Public? Stopping all drones means that they won't be able to monitor areas of tinderbrush for fire outbreaks.

mrbester said,
Is this all drones or just ones operated by Joe Public? Stopping all drones means that they won't be able to monitor areas of tinderbrush for fire outbreaks.

I'd imagine any company doing that could get special dispensation.

Permits will be granted on a case-by-case basis. There was an article stating that movie makers can apply for permission to film, so I don't have any reason to believe that drones will be prevented from monitoring fires.

It's not just because of the noise. It's also because somebody thought it would be a good idea to harass wildlife with one.

They don't take kindly to people harassing wildlife in national parks.

Exactly and the noise itself can be disruptive to wildlife.

People think in terms of, "oh my one noisey drone wont bother anything." But fail to grasp that 10,000 other people think the same thing.

So the NIMBYs have invaded the national park system and making unrealistic demands. FFS would someone please just kill these morons?

What's wrong with limited the national parks to peace and quite? People go there to take in nature, not to see drones flying around harassing wildlife.

"see drones flying around harassing wildlife"

Really? Drones harrassing wildlife? What, do they have chainsaws built on them to cut down trees now?

Next time let them ban seaquls and crows since they harass the **** out of me every morning at 5am.

SpeedyTheSnail said,
Those damn things aren't noisy. It's just the government being stupid again, they like to control everything.

Tell that to the people who complained.

It's not really that they are noisy. It's the word "drone" that is the problem. People have been flying remote control airplanes for decades now. But now that the media has changed the name to "drones", people are angry and want them banned.

rfirth said,
It's not really that they are noisy. It's the word "drone" that is the problem. People have been flying remote control airplanes for decades now. But now that the media has changed the name to "drones", people are angry and want them banned.
Part of the issue is that drones usually have video cameras mounted to them and have the ability to hover in a particular location. They are used in a fundamentally different way to remote controlled aeroplanes. It makes sense to restrict them and allow exceptions on a case-by-case basis before they become widespread and cause issues.

SpeedyTheSnail said,
Those damn things aren't noisy. It's just the government being stupid again, they like to control everything.

They are incredibly noisy.

-adrian- said,
Well you have RC Helicopters with battery or patrol as well. are those the drones than :o

Exactly. There have been RC helicopters for years and years and years without issue. Even with cameras.

But once you add a few more rotors and make it a quadcopter, it's suddenly classed as a "drone" and a menace to society.

rfirth said,

Tell that to the people who complained.

It's not really that they are noisy. It's the word "drone" that is the problem. People have been flying remote control airplanes for decades now. But now that the media has changed the name to "drones", people are angry and want them banned.

There is a difference though. RC airplanes = for hobbyists. Drones = for the Youtube generation, which doesn't always have the best intentions for using technology.

"This blanket ban has been issued due to a large amount of noise and nuisance complaints that have been made against the use of these devices."

These are big parks, I'm really surprised noise was a big deal. Of course, if I took my family to a park, and I saw 2-3, or even 1 of these things while walking through a beautiful area, I may be put off. I would be put off the same amount by stepping in a black bear's pile of poop too, though.

Why flying in your back yard when when Pakistani skies are wide open :p..

But seriously, people would lose their free will like this.. Its their country and their home turf yet they can't do this, can't do that..

Restrict things which are really causing harm, like those Noisy guns which seems to cause treats to peoples live :p..

My mother's "noisy" gun saved here life from armed robbers, saved her life and millions more, I'd rather get rid of "noisy" comments that from people that can't understand the basic mechanics of how freedom is not without risk.