How can I fly a drone in a Nationwide Park?

Subsequent up in our “Ask Drone Girl” sequence is about flying in U.S. Nationwide Parks. When you’ve got a query for Drone Lady, contact her right here.

Hello Drone Lady,

I had a fast query about taking pictures in sure areas of SF. I’m making an attempt to get some footage within the Presidio and might be renting a drone to shoot it. I observed on some drone maps that the Presidio is off limits. Is there a workaround for taking pictures legally there? Is a allow mandatory?


Hey Andy,

Nice query! It’s difficult. To our non-San Franciscan readers, I’ll let that Presidio could be probably the most lovely place to pictures with a drone.

However sadly, the quick reply is not any, you can not shoot within the Presidio with a drone.

The Nationwide Park Service in August 2014 made it unlawful to launch, land, or function unmanned plane underneath 36 CFR 1.5, which basically provides the Nationwide Park Service the authority to impose public use limits reminiscent of hours of operations or not strolling off the trail.

(I began trying into this once I realized you would not fly drones over the Golden Gate Bridge.)

Earlier than each flight, I like to recommend checking in your flight location on AirMap. It’s a helpful and free device to see if you’re flying too near an airport (5 miles is definitely broader than most individuals suppose!), or in in any other case restricted areas reminiscent of a Nationwide Park — as a result of lots of people don’t understand the Presidio is a Nationwide Park).

You’ll see that the Presidio, the place you wish to fly, is prohibited.

Screenshot from AirMap

Nonetheless, there’s a probability you possibly can nonetheless fly your drone there. Functions reminiscent of scientific examine, search and rescue operations, fireplace operations, and legislation enforcement can function underneath written permission from Nationwide Park Service administration.

It doesn’t matter what Nationwide Park you wish to fly in, contact that park’s particular administration crew effectively upfront and clarify what it’s worthwhile to do. It might assist if you happen to can show your case and professionalism. Ideally you’ll have a Half 107 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to show you’re a licensed drone pilot. In the event you don’t, get it first!

You may also wish to present documentation of the protection of your gear, in addition to the main points of your flight together with time of day, and so on. Extra data is best!

In the event you do get permission from the park administration crew, ensure you have it signed and in writing. Have it with you on the day of your shoot, in addition to your Half 107 license, in case somebody questions you.

And above all, joyful flying!

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