2016 Drones in Parks

2016 Jurisdictional Scan Drones in Parks
 Q.1 Does your agency have regulations and/or policies in place to manage recreational drone use in parks? If so, can you please summarize or attach.   Q.2 If there are areas in your parks where you allow recreational drone use, what process/criteria was used to establish where/why it can occur? Q.3 Are restrictions or rules on drone use in your parks limited to the take-off and landing of drones? Q.4 Do you allow the use of drones for non-recreational purposes (research, filming, search and rescue)? If yes, under what circumstances?
JURISDICTIONREPLIEDYES/NOCONTACT NAME
B.C PARKSInquiring Jurisdiction        YesDanika Carlson
COMMENTS: Hi Dawn, I’m with the BC Ministry of Environment’s Strategic Policy Branch and have been assisting BC Parks with developing a policy around UAV/drone use in parks. We were curious to see how other provinces and territories approached this issue and began conducting a jurisdictional scan. After some initial digging, we decided it would be best to distribute a survey to other park agencies through the Canadian Parks Council. Other jurisdictions that we have contacted are also keen on hearing what paths others are taking. We put together a short survey (4 questions) about UAV/drone use in parks (attached).   Would you please distribute this survey to all the other park agencies?   We think that a deadline of March 21st would be reasonable. Thank you, Danika Carlson
ALBERTA PARKSYesBrent Wyman
COMMENTS: Q.1)Alberta Parks has a directive in place that requires everyone to acquire a research and collection permit for any remote camera or UAV (drone) use in a provincial park. A copy of the directive is attached. Q.2) We do have one area in one park that is in agreement with a remote control flying club.  The club is required to have insurance and for their activities and ensure safe flying around the public. There is a fence around the area that prevents people from walking into the landing/take-off area. As stated above, we don’t allow UAV (drone) use without a permit. Q.3)These restrictions have more to do with the entire activity and collecting photography than it does have to do with take-off and landings. Q.4) Yes we do as long as the proper permits are in place and staff are informed, and worked with to ensure that everything is being done safely.
SASKATCHEWAN PARKSUnclearBob Wilson
COMMENTS:. Q.1 Does your agency have regulations and/or policies in place to manage recreational drone use in parks? If so, can you please summarize or attach.   Saskatchewan is in a very similar position to B.C. Parks.  We have general prohibitions in the Park Regulations that might have application to restrict the use of UAVs, but nothing specific that is directed to controlling UAV use on Saskatchewan Park Lands.  In the last 6 months, we have assigned a Park Manager the task of reviewing other jurisdictions and preparing a draft policy for review. The review will not be ready for implementation for the 2016 operating season.  Dave Silversides (dave.silversides@gov.sk.ca) is our contact regarding this policy and its development. Q.2 If there are areas in your parks where you allow recreational drone use, what process/criteria was used to establish where/why it can occur?  Currently the recreational use of UAVs is not officially sanctioned.  It is too early in the process to say with certainty where or how this form of recreation will be allowed.  Privacy and personal space are issues that are important to Saskatchewan Parks and our visitors.  Wildlife harassment is a third component/concern. Q.3 Are restrictions or rules on drone use in your parks limited to the take-off and landing of drones? I would venture that over-flight of canoeist/boaters/hikers by UAVs would be a cause for concern. Using park land for take-off and landing would also be an issue for our attention to control. Q.4 Do you allow the use of drones for non-recreational purposes (research, filming, search and rescue)? If yes, under what circumstances? Currently the use of Special Permits would allow the use of UAVs for “work” requirements.  This might include filming, forestry and other park land inspections.  This (the use of UAV) has caught Saskatchewan Provincial Parks by surprise as well.  To engage the public with regard to the use of UAVs will be a cornerstone of what our policy development will look like. Keep us advised of your progress….We will endeavor to do the same.
MANITOBA PARKSNoN/A
COMMENTS: Q.1 Does your agency have regulations and/or policies in place to manage recreational drone use in parks? If so, can you please summarize or attach. No, although we are also trying to figure out how to deal with recreational drone use. Q.2 If there are areas in your parks where you allow recreational drone use, what process/criteria was used to establish where/why it can occur? NA Q.3 Are restrictions or rules on drone use in your parks limited to the take-off and landing of drones? NA Q.4 Do you allow the use of drones for non-recreational purposes (research, filming, search and rescue)? If yes, under what circumstances? Yes, use for research and commercial purposes, such as filming or survey work, is allowed by permit. We have not been approached regarding the use of drones for search and rescue, but would likely authorize that use for public safety purposes in most cases.
ONTARIO PARKSX  
SEPAQ (QUEBEC)  X  
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADORX  
NOVA SCOTIAX  
PARKS NEW BRUNSWICKX  
P.E.I PARKSX  
GOVERNMENT OF NORTHWEST TERRITORIESX  
NUNAVUT PARKSX  
YUKON PARKSX  
PARKS CANADAYesStephen Mccanny/ Alain Trudel
COMMENTS:Q.1 Does your agency have regulations and/or policies in place to manage recreational drone use in parks? If so, can you please summarize or attach. Drones are covered under the National Parks of Canada Aircraft Access Regulations.  Recreational use is not permitted.  Transport Canada notes this on their UAV website. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-97-150/page-1.html http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/standards/standards-4179.html   Q.2 If there are areas in your parks where you allow recreational drone use, what process/criteria was used to establish where/why it can occur? Recreational use is not permitted Q.3 Are restrictions or rules on drone use in your parks limited to the take-off and landing of drones? Yes. Q.4 Do you allow the use of drones for non-recreational purposes (research, filming, search and rescue)? If yes, under what circumstances? Yes, superintendents may permit judicious use of drones for park administration, including filming for protected area promotion.

Response Rate: 4/13 for 31% Response Rate
Key Findings:
Drones are a relatively new development, and we are only beginning to see their implementation in parks as such most parks agencies may not even have policies regarding drones
Not many parks agencies responded to this jurisdictional scan
The ones that did seem to prohibit the recreational use of drones but allow the use of drones in pre approved flights in order to film promotional materials, and other administrative tasks such as search and rescue.

Future Questions to Ask:

Are there any ways to make drones more “Park Friendly”?
What are the capabilities and limitations of drones in regards to how they can be best employed by parks (i.e. visitor safety etc.)
What new opportunities for recreation and conservation does the usage of drones bring to parks?

Links to Resources: 

Original Summary
New Brunswick Draft of Drones Policy
New Brunswick Film Crew Disclaimer
Alberta Drones Directive