Drones are banned in all US national parks, for now

Yosemite National Park. (Reuters)

Yosemite National Park. (Reuters)

The National Park Service has announced it is banning the use of drones (also known as UAVs, or unmanned aircraft aerial vehicles) in all national parks. Agency director Jonathan Jarvis said in a statement Friday the decision arose from “serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks.” More at the Washington Post:

Jarvis said that the new rules are only temporary and will prohibit drone use until the agency can figure out a policy to serve the parks as well as the visitors. Of course, the Park Service notes that the process of figuring out drone-related regulations could “take considerable time.” Any permits already issued for unmanned aircraft have been suspended and need to be reviewed and approved again.

While the rules are in effect, drones cannot be launched from, landed in or flown over the land or water overseen by the agency, which manages 84 million acres of land and 4.5 million acres of oceans, lakes and reservoirs.

The agency might still use drones from time to time for specific uses: scientific studies, search and rescue operations, wildfires, and the like.

Read the directive here, at the National Park Service website.