Kathleen Bond, a National Park Service (NPS) superintendent, is reminding the public that the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) within the boundaries of NPS sites is prohibited.
In summer 2014, NPS Director Jon Jarvis issued the interim policy on UAS at NPS sites. (Not long after the policy memorandum was issued, though, someone crashed a UAS into the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park.)
According to this most recent notice from the NPS, this policy will be in place until the NPS develops a nationwide regulation – through a public rulemaking process – to address UAS operations. The policy directs superintendents to take a number of steps to exclude UAS from national parks.
Bond, for example, has incorporated the directive into her compendium for the Natchez, Miss., area, which includes the Melrose estate, the William Johnson House, the Fort Rosalie area along Canal Street, and the Natchez Trace Parkway. Elsewhere in Mississippi, that includes the Vicksburg National Military Park and the Ocean Springs unit of Gulf Islands National Seashore on the coast.
“The use of ‘drones,’ or unmanned aircraft, has become a popular recreational activity,” states Bond, who also notes the popularity of the technology as Christmas gifts. “I want the public to realize that taking off, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from all national park sites is prohibited.”