Can I Fly My Drone In A Nationwide Park?

Can I Fly My Drone In A Nationwide Park?


Can I fly my drone in a Nationwide Park?

The brief reply is not any; the Nationwide Park Service (NPS) strictly prohibits the take-off and touchdown of any uncrewed aerial system (UAS) inside park boundaries and in Wilderness areas or wildlife refugees managed by different federal companies such because the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Administration. Whereas sure Nationwide Forests and non-wilderness BLM lands enable drone utilization, it is very important be aware that drone laws fluctuate on the state and native ranges and even from park to park which might be in the identical system. 

Can I Fly My Drone In A National Park?
Jackson, WY, USA – July 16, 2017: Drones Prohibited Signal Close to Elk Sactuary Close to Grand Titons Nationwide Park.

What If I take off outdoors of the park and fly in?

Some drone operators have tried to bypass these laws by taking off from non-public property and flying over NPS lands. Nonetheless, it’s essential to notice that even when you launch and function from non-NPS lands, the NPS can nonetheless implement laws pertaining to wildlife disturbance, nuisance or disorderly conduct, and working a motorcar throughout your drone flight. As a pilot in command, you additionally danger your drone unintentionally crashing onto NPS lands, which carries important penalties. 

Moreover, compliance with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) laws for UAS operations, together with sustaining a visible line of sight, remains to be necessary. 

What About Nationwide Forest and Wilderness Areas?

Whereas flying drones in Nationwide Forests just isn’t totally prohibited, the US Forest Service requires that each one drone operations fulfill varied restrictions, together with adherence to all FAA laws and steering, avoiding wildlife, designated wilderness areas, firefighting operations, manned plane actions, and non permanent flight restrictions (TFRs). 

Nonetheless, when you could have the ability to function inside a nationwide forest, flying drones in designated Wilderness areas inside Nationwide Forest land is strictly prohibited. The Wilderness Act of 1964 explicitly declares that in these areas, no motorized gear, touchdown of plane, or different types of mechanical transport are allowed. In keeping with the US Forest Service, UAS are labeled as “mechanized” gear, thereby falling below the prohibition of drone take-off and touchdown in congressionally designated Wilderness areas on Nationwide Forest Service Lands.

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What’s the penalty for launching and touchdown in a Nationwide Park, Wildlife refuge, or Wilderness Space?

In keeping with the NPS web site, rule violations are enforced on the discretion of park rangers and carry a most of six months in jail and a $5,000 fantastic. 

National Park Sign Showing Fine For Breaking Rules
Drone Flight prohibited signal towards desert rocks in Joshua Tree Nationwide Park. Joahua tree plant, bushes, and blue sky may also be seen on this panorama.

Does the AutoPylot App Show Nationwide Parks, Wildlife Refugees, and Wildness Areas? 

YES, the AutoPylot app shows and descriptions nationwide parks, wilderness areas, or wildlife refuges. To additional improve operational consciousness, the AutoPylot app will alert drone pilots if their deliberate operation overlaps a nationwide park, wilderness space, or wildlife refuge by displaying a yellow advisory within the flight guidelines that reads “Flight Not Suggested.”  

Nationwide Parks, Wildlife Refuge, Wilderness Areas on the AutoPylot App

Why can I nonetheless plan a mission and request LAANC over NPS lands within the AutoPylot App if drone flights are prohibited?

Since some operators could have particular permission or waivers to launch and land inside nationwide parks (Park Rangers, Conservation Teams), the AutoPylot app shows the park boundaries and alerts pilots to make use of warning however doesn’t limit these flights.

You will need to keep in mind that planning a mission or acquiring a LAANC Authorization in NPS lands, wildlife refugees, or wilderness areas doesn’t allow you to launch or land from any of those areas with out permission from the park. 

How do I get permission to fly my drone inside a Nationwide Park, Wildlife Refugee, or Wilderness Space? 

Drone operators ought to contact the park superintendent to see if a selected space inside the park might enable drones or if they’ll acquire a particular allow.

The place Can I Discover Extra Info?

Pilots can learn the unique coverage, Coverage Memorandum 14-05, revealed on June 19, 2014.

Or go to The official Nationwide Park Service UAS web site to see: 

  • Complete info on “Unmanned Plane within the Nationwide Parks.”
  • Masking the explanations behind the restrictions.
  • Allow pointers.
  • FAQs.
  • Penalties for noncompliance.



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