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Ohio Moves Toward Changing Old Regulations That Keep Most Drones Out of Parks

NASA test drone
NASA Langley
NASA website
Drone in flight test

Regulations that predates drone technology have kept the technology mostly out of most parks, until now. But there's a move to change that.  

The big public parks are all but drone-free. Years ago, due mostly to the model airplanes and rockets of the time, park authorities across the state and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks, banned small, powered-flying devices. Since that’s basically what most modern non-military drones are, they’re covered by those rules.

photo of sippo lake park
Credit StarkParks
StarkParks Sippo Lake Park

But StarkParks Director Bob Fonte says there's recently been a move toward amending policies so that park staff can use drones.

“We do take advantage of the technology, surveying plant invasive species or wildlife surveys.  We don’t want to disturb our park users any more than we want someone else to disturb them. So we’re using it in a real strategic manner.”

Font says special training and FAA certification is required for the personnel who fly the drones.