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NSW National Parks
352 7 2018-6-3
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Markon
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Hope the following information is of use to other pilots hoping to fly drones in NSW National Parks...
Had an interesting morning today. Starting to plan for school holidays in a month's time and one of the ideas was to fly my drone at a New South Wales National Park near us. Wanted to do the right thing so I don't mess things up for my fellow drone pilots.
I decided on two National parks within 3 hours drive of my home


I then went to NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website to the Drones in Park Police page.

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.a ... ies/drones-in-parks

I then rang the Park Managers at both National Parks. The first one was extremely helpful, asked about my drone, my flight experience, had I read and was willing to comply with the policy and the park's own concerns and restricted areas and is going to send me a letter of consent so that I can fly my drone at the park. He also advised me on a range of locations to get really good captures and flights. A really positive experience.



The second one was very negative, drones scare wildlife, disturb park users and under no circumstances could they be flown except at the information centre car park only to an altitude of 30 meters, no futher away than 100 meters. And yes I would still need to apply for a letter of consent which they may consider at a future time.

I have not identified the parks as yet. After I do the trip, I will post some footage and let you all know the good place to fly

It looks like here in New South Wales, our ability to fly is at the mercy of each park manager......
2018-6-3
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Cetacean
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Aloha Markon,

     That is usually the case.  The park manager is responsible for the safe operations of the park.  If the park manager does not understand drones, they will not be supportive of their flight in their park.  This is what happens all around the world.

     Usually all it takes is a few drone assisted rescues for the park managers to come around to the good side of drones.  Unfortunately, drone assisted rescues are still rare because park managers do not allow them in their parks!

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-6-4
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DJI Natalia
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Thank you for sharing! Enjoy flying!
2018-6-4
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Eric13
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Cetacean Posted at 2018-6-4 01:49
Aloha Markon,

     That is usually the case.  The park manager is responsible for the safe operations of the park.  If the park manager does not understand drones, they will not be supportive of their flight in their park.  This is what happens all around the world.

Yo Cetacean!
That sounds strange to me but maybe Downunder things are different.
Are you saying that park rangers can set up their own rules? They can allow/forbid it?
I guess that could only be the case in the abscence of laws.

I can't imagine this for the US.
I don't think a drone-friendly ranger in Grand Canyon NP has the authority to allow drone flying upon his own choice.
2018-6-4
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Hurley1718
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Thanks for the information and look forward to seeing your video.
2018-6-4
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Markon
Second Officer
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Australia
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Eric13 Posted at 2018-6-4 09:25
Yo Cetacean!
That sounds strange to me but maybe Downunder things are different.
Are you saying that park rangers can set up their own rules? They can allow/forbid it?


No, the way I understand it is that there is a general NSW Office of Environment policy based on CASA drone rules and park managers may impose further restrictions due to local environmental concerns or operational situations like bushfires, high visitor numbers etc.

Although  the second park manager said to me that drones scare wildlife, in defence of her decision, she could argue that the protection of the birds in the park was a valid environmental responsibility of the park thus excluding all drone operations. Unfortunately with no defined guidelines available to the public on how such decisions are arrived at, the Park manager does not have to explain how he/she arrives at their decision.

(I spent 4 years as a senior manager in the NSW department of Education so have a wee bit of experience in how some people can manipulate regulations and policies to suit their own agendas)
2018-6-4
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Rexster
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Pretty much the same as here in Texas. Numerous state parks in Texas, and each park manager sets their own rules. I was lucky to get permission from the manager at the San Jacinto Monument and Battleship Texas, but unsuccessful in being allowed to fly in Balmorhea State Park last summer.
2018-6-4
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Cetacean
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Eric13 Posted at 2018-6-4 09:25
Yo Cetacean!
That sounds strange to me but maybe Downunder things are different.
Are you saying that park rangers can set up their own rules? They can allow/forbid it?

Aloha Eric,

     If you look at the regulations, the US Park Superintendents always has last word on all uses.  They can allow or disallow any or all drone flights and can allow specific flights for specific purposes.  That is why it is always a good idea to write to the park administration for permission, especially if you have a unique slant on a flight and its very unique purpose.  

     Remember, we do have new and interesting technology and parks superintendents are responsible for the public perception of their parks.  Regular hobbyist/tourists will not be able to fly, except maybe in specific and very limited areas, but if you have something real interesting, the superintendent may perk up and listen.  Certainly worth a try!

Aloha and Drone On!
2018-6-4
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