In any national park, drones may soon may end up being banned in over 84 million acres of forest. The reason: The National Park Service considers the unmanned drones in the United States to be annoying.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, one crazed woman attacked a man operating a flying drone at a beach. But the fight against drones in the U.S. is not just physical since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also made search and rescue drones illegal due to prior policies. However, a judge in one case dismissed a FAA fine against a small drone user.
When it comes to national parks, drones are already banned in the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Zion in Utah. But National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis wants the drones ban to apply to everything he oversees. Why? Because the unmanned aircraft could annoy visitors, harass wildlife, and threaten safety:
“Imagine you’re a big wall climber in Yosemite working on a four-day climb up El Capitan, and you’re hanging off a bulb ready to make a (difficult) move, and an unmanned aircraft flies up beside you and is hovering a few feet from your head with its GoPro camera running. Think about what that does to your experience and your safety.”
The Federal Aviation Administration was supposed to create U.S. regulations for commercial drones by the fall of 2015, but they are not expected to finish by this deadline. The national park drone rules are being drafted in the absence of such regulations.
The exception to the rule over drones would be if model aircraft hobbyists and clubs already have approval to operate in some national parks. Each park may also continue to grant permission for drone flights for research, search and rescue, and firefighting:
“This is a different kind of aircraft, and it is being used in different ways than what we have seen from the (model aircraft) hobbyists. We want to have some control over it now before it proliferates. We would have to hear why they would necessarily need this type of equipment in order to accomplish their goals.”
Do you think the National Park Service should have the right to ban the usage of drones in the United States? What limitations do you think are fair for the average drone operator?