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Permits for flying in National Parks

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Is there a way to attain one?

Has anyone ever done so or have any information on how to go about seeking the right people to talk to?

And if you do have footage. Is it illegal to release the footage?
 
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You will not get permits. Drones are specifically banned in national parks. I don't think they can get you for having the footage after the fact. It's just a bust if you're caught flying a drone in a park. You could just be asked to leave, or they may confiscate your stuff. Best to go during the week when there are less people, and note where the rangers are!
 
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You will not get permits. Drones are specifically banned in national parks. I don't think they can get you for having the footage after the fact. It's just a bust if you're caught flying a drone in a park. You could just be asked to leave, or they may confiscate your stuff. Best to go during the week when there are less people, and note where the rangers are!
Thanks Chad.

May I ask? Do you know anyone that works for the National Park Service or have you contacted them before?
 
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I have a family friend who was the main guy at Colorado National Monument, and even with the inside connection, I could not get permission. The people working there don't have the authority to make the decision, at least in my case. You could always just call someplace and inquire what process you need to go through to get permission.
 

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Unfortunately I think this was one of those knee-jerk reactions to quads and we are just lucky they haven't popped up elsewhere YET. Just like flying anywhere else there are plenty of reasons and places not to fly because it is unsafe. So if that is ever the case, just don't. I fly in the parks around NY with no issues and the blessings of all of the Rangers. It depends how many they see really. The original issue was that people were complaining that they could not go to a place like the Grand Canyon without seeing quads all day and it took away from the beauty. Whatever, we should be able to grasp that I suppose. However if I am going to a place where there are few people, I always bring mine and usually talk to the Rangers at some point (usually to tell them where they can find the footage). If you are safe and avoid the "tourist" national parks, I think you are more likely to find Rangers who like them or do not care either way.
 
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Hmmm........

I get both your points Chad and Mazz.

Trying to get a permit might just be a waste of time but playing it safe and dealing with the rangers in the right manner could possibly allow me to fly.

Granted there's really no one there in the park on the day of and I'm not flying like an idiot.

But let's say I actually did have a successful day and everyone played it cool. If I release the footage. Am I putting myself or other pilots in further risk?
 
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Well you could always say the footage was from 2012, before they banned drones! Nobody has ever been prosecuted from posting national park footage as far as I know. It's mostly about being caught when you are there.
 
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I have read that once rules and laws are made,the National Park Service will allow drones.But I guess that will be a long wait
 
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I have been told that it is possible to get a 24hr permit to fly in a national park, but there are fees involved with the permits. When the ranger said 'fees', I lost interest.
 
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Yeah,seems that they found a new money source.
 
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I have been told that it is possible to get a 24hr permit to fly in a national park, but there are fees involved with the permits. When the ranger said 'fees', I lost interest.
My guess is that they probably have a way around the rules for commercial situations. If a movie company has the right credentials, is willing to fork up a bit of cash, then the park service would probably accommodate the filming for movies (as an example). These parks like the free press they get in such situations. On the flip side of that, seeing how many idiots out there break the simple rules about flying drones that it is no wonder the restrictions were put in place. And, even as a drone pilot, I wouldn't want to be visiting the Grand Canyon (as an example) and hearing drones flying and disturbing the serenity of such a park. But, that's my opinion.
 
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These idiots will be the biggest problem in the next future.
 
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Ive not been able to attain permission when ive asked at any national park either. Im hopeful in the future they will give people permission to fly and photograph them because the views are stunning and make great photos. I do kinda see their point for denying drone flights at this stage until they can get some regulations in place. you dont want 2000 people flying drones in any given park on any given day. In my opinion they should have so many permits per day, perhaps charging a fee limiting them to a reasonable number per park based on size but bureaucracy travels slowly and in the meantime I fly where i want, making sure theres no rangers around first of course:) Use some common sense, dont harass the wildlife or any other guests of the park and likely you wont have any issues. To date everyone who has seen me flying my drone thinks its awesome and they love it, but ive not yet encountered any park rangers. A little pre scouting and the 1.5+mile range is a great feature for avoiding them. Even if they see it if you have a safe launch point far enough away from them you can land and be gone long before they get there to hassle you, haha!
 
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Note that taking off and flying over National Parks from outside the park boundary is fine and was called out by the NPS as being ok when they announced the temporary rule.

The NPS makes no claims to the airspace over the parks.
 
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Note that taking off and flying over National Parks from outside the park boundary is fine and was called out by the NPS as being ok when they announced the temporary rule.

The NPS makes no claims to the airspace over the parks.
Some do, Colorado National Monument Park for example. i asked if i could fly there and they said no and that it was restricted airspace, they dont even let airplanes fly over it for some reason. So i did exactly what you said, flew in from outside the boundary, haha!
 
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I've probably flown over that park a few times on commercial airliners. What portion of the national airspace do they believe they control exactly?
 
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They meant lower flying small private planes for sightseeing/joyriding purposes i believe, not sure what altitudes they restricted exactly. something about scaring the wildlife or hitting birds or something, i forget exactly. commercial airlines fly so high that they dont care about them.
 
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They meant lower flying small private planes for sightseeing/joyriding purposes i believe, not sure what altitudes they restricted exactly. something about scaring the wildlife or hitting birds or something, i forget exactly. commercial airlines fly so high that they dont care about them.
The point is: they don't control ANY airspace. The local ranger was mistaken. The NPS temporary rule (you can find it online circa mid-2014) explicitly permitted flyovers if operating outside park boundaries and the NPS doesn't control US airspace. That is the FAA's domain. A different federal agency. They went out of their way to call this out.
 
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I only know what they told me, but they wouldnt let me fly from within the park so i went outside it and flew in instead, :D Hopeful they get something figured out soon and start allowing people to fly there though. Incredible scenery to photograph from the air for sure. I wouldnt even care if you have to pay a fee or set up an appointment and only so many can fly per day or whatever, as drones get cheaper and become more common I can see a definite issue with having a bunch flying around everywhere piloted by amatures, total chaos, heh
 
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It depends on what country you are in.
Some countries banned them in national parks - some would care less.
Here in Sweden there is no restrictions at all. I believe even it would serve some good with some beautiful youtube clips of parks to attract more visitors.
 

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