Pennsylvania Game Commission Votes on New Drone Restrictions

Citing concern for wildlife, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners recently voted unanimously to prohibit drones on property controlled by the game commission.

In April, the board gave preliminary approval on a proposal to ban the flying of drones over land or water designated as state game lands. The measure was amended after a legal review by the state attorney general’s office, which said only the federal government has the authority to regulate airspace, says the commission.

The amended proposal, which was given final approval on July 19, prohibits the “operation, control, launch or retrieval” of drones on game lands, unless a specific exception is approved in writing by the game commission’s executive director.

During the snow-goose migration season at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area this year, the game commission says it detected at least five instances where drones disturbed wildlife.

After another legal review of the regulation, the commission expects the ban to take effect soon.


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