Flying Drones In National Parks

The rules for flying drones in national parks are somewhat convoluted, as they vary from park to park, and some parks don’t allow it at all. In general, a drone can only be flown in a national park if the pilot has a permit, per the National Park Service’s list of drone restrictions.

Flying Drones In National Parks

Flying Drones In National Parks

Flying a drone in a national park is much the same as flying a drone in a national monument. If you want to fly your drone in a national park that requires a permit, you should check for any specific restrictions, such as the number of drones that can be flown at once.

The parks that allow drones to fly without a permit are typically the more remote ones, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Drones are also allowed to fly in parks that are not as heavily visited, such as the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Washington and the Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.

Even in parks that welcome drones, the rules vary. For instance, in the Grand Canyon National Park, drones must remain below 400 feet, away from people and not be flown at night.

The parks that require a drone pilot to obtain a permit are typically the ones that have a high concentration of visitors, such as the Grand Teton National Park and the Denali National Park and Preserve.

A park ranger will likely ask for some proof that a drone pilot has a permit to fly in the park, such as a Federal Aviation Administration registration number.

The National Park Service recommends that drone pilots check with the park where they want to fly for any restrictions before they get started.

Drones in national parks are subject to the same rules as drones anywhere else, including no flying over people, no flying in national park airspace, and not flying over wilderness areas or historic sites.

The National Park Service has a list of frequently asked questions about drones, including the rules in each park.

How to fly a drone in a national monument?

Flying a drone in a national monument is much the same as flying a drone in a national park.

A drone pilot must have a permit or be in a park that doesn’t require a permit, such as the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Sanctuary or the Big Cypress National Preserve.

If a drone wants to fly in a park that requires a permit, the pilot should check for any specific restrictions, such as the number of drones that can be flown at once.

Drones in national monuments are subject to the same rules as drones in national parks, such as no flying over people, no flying in national monument airspace and not flying over wilderness areas or historic sites.

The National Park Service has a list of frequently asked questions about drones, including the rules in each park.

How to fly a drone in a national forest?

Like parks, national forests vary in their drone regulations.

In general, a drone can only be flown in a national forest if the pilot has a permit, per the U.S. Forest Service’s list of drone restrictions.

However, some national forests have designated areas where drones can be flown without a permit.

These parks typically have fewer visitors and more remote locations, such as the San Gorgonio Wilderness in California and the Zumwalt Prairie in Oregon.

Drones are also welcome to fly in national forests that are not as heavily visited, such as the Sequoia National Forest in California, the Colville National Forest in Washington and the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee.

Even in parks that welcome drones, the rules vary. For instance, in the San Bernardino National Forest, drones must remain below 400 feet, away from people and not be flown at night.

The parks that require a drone pilot to obtain a permit are typically the ones that have a high concentration of visitors, such as the Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona.

A forest ranger will likely ask for some proof that a drone pilot has a permit to fly in the park, such as a Federal Aviation Administration registration number.

The U.S. Forest Service recommends that drone pilots check with the forest where they want to fly for any restrictions before they get started.

Drones in national forests are subject to the same rules as drones anywhere else, including no flying over people, no flying in national forest airspace, and not flying over wilderness areas or historic sites.

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