CONTACT: Chief Wayne Kline, Delaware Natural Resources Police, State Parks Enforcement, 302-739-9221, or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
DNREC Parks Enforcement reminds visitors that
flying drones is restricted in Delaware State Parks
DOVER (March 25, 2015) – With the increasing popularity of unmanned aircraft, particularly hobby drones, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation reminds visitors to Delaware State Parks that the use of drones on all park lands is restricted and otherwise illegal without proper authorization. State Park Regulations specifically prohibit the use of radio-controlled model aircraft or flying machines including hobby drones except in park areas that have been designated for them.
However, while drone use is illegal in Delaware State Parks, park regulations permit organized activities – which include flying of drones – at the discretion of the director of the Division of Parks & Recreation. “Delaware State Parks believes that, in the best interest of wildlife and other park users, the flying of hobby drones is a recreational activity that must be properly managed,” said Parks Director Ray Bivens. “In our management of drones, we would encourage hobbyists to come to us in an organized way with detailed plans of their group activity.” He cited an International Drone Day event planned for Sunday, March 29 at Brandywine Creek State Parks as having met criteria as an organized recreational activity that would be allowed within the state park system.
Delaware State Parks Enforcement Chief Wayne Kline reiterated that all other hobbyist drone flying on park lands is illegal. “We are attuned to what’s going on with hobby drones across the country and how often they’ve been in the news of late,” Chief Kline said. “The flying of unmanned aircraft now presents enforcement challenges at national parks ranging from harassment of wildlife, filming of unaware park visitors and even personal injury as a result of crash landings. So as we acknowledge that drones are becoming more and more popular for recreational use, including in Delaware, we also restate our intent to enforce regulations restricting their use in Delaware State Parks.”
Restrictions on drone use should not imply that DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation or Delaware State Parks are “anti-drone,” Director Bivens said. He cited the upcoming International Drone Day event this weekend at Brandywine Creek State Parks and praised “event organizers who worked closely with park leadership to plan and issue a permit for the event. In fact, we would encourage the public to come learn more about this new emerging technology.” The International Drone Day event at Brandywine Creek State Parks will include flying demonstrations, competitions and workshops focused on the drone hobbyist. More information about the event can be found at www.skygearsolutions.com.
Vol. 43, No. 76