State law Drone laws Specifically Utah

Discussion in 'sUAV Rules & Regulations' started by Chip D, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Chip D

    Chip D Well-Known Member

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    I am going to be visiting the St. George Utah area in a few months, and thought I'd check and see in advance what the chances are of Drone flights in the area. Yes, I know you can't do it in National Parks such as Zion which is in close proximity. But I thought I'd check out Snow Canyon which is North of St. George.
    Checked on the Utah Parks and was happy to note that in some of the parks Drones are allowed, you just need a permit and don't do it in heavy times.
    But Snow Canyon was interesting because of this that I had NOT seen before:

    "Drone Use in Snow Canyon State Park Due to natural resource, safety, and privacy concerns Snow Canyon State Park prohibits the operation or use on or above State Park property of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, by the general public (including model aircraft by recreational users and hobbyists) without issuance of a Special Use Permit. This prohibition includes drones used for filming or videotaping, as well as any drone use by media or journalists operating above or within the park boundaries. This prohibition extends to any devices launched or operated from State Park property, as well as any launched from private property outside of the State Park boundaries"

    So according to this, you not only can't fly in the park, you can't launch OUTSIDE the park and fly in. I thought the air was regulated by the FAA and as long as you can fly in, you are ok. Or is this just government push back, and they can't really enforce it? Just wonderin.
    Chip D - Omaha, Ne
     
  2. RC5728

    RC5728 Well-Known Member

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    Good luck to them enforcing that. Those rules are BS.

    They have no jurisdiction over the airspace, regardless of what they say.

    You can launch from outside the park and fly over the park 100% legally.
     
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  3. Doug Lare

    Doug Lare Well-Known Member

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    Yup, state lacks jurisdiction. They can stop launches from park grounds, but launches from private property is beyond their scope of authority. We have a major university who believes that they too, can control overflights. They keep getting swatted back, but continue to try to enforce their "laws", which are really only their rules
     
  4. Chip D

    Chip D Well-Known Member

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    Well it would be nice I suppose to have a little card with me at all times that points to the FAA rules and regs that says that they control the airspace. Maybe we should all keep something like that with us.
    Chip D - Omaha, Ne
     
  5. tcope

    tcope Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately I don't think it's that simple. You would not be in contact with the person that made the rule, only the person who was told it's their job to inforce that rule. Those people probably want to keep their jobs. I was once told by a security guard that he was told to tell people that they could not take pictures of a building. He did not make that rule, he was just told to tell people this as part of his job (once of the nicest people I've ever spoken with). Congress also left the door open under Section 336. It states that a hobby flier needs to follow the rules of a Community Based Organization. I _think_ many local authorities see this as allowing them to make any rule that they want, as long as it does not trump the FAA's regulations. Congress makes a law and then at some point a court needs to explain what that law means.
     
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  6. zezrum

    zezrum Well-Known Member

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    I've flown in and around St. George several times. Snow Canyon is a beautiful area, and its disappointing that the locals have had to ban it, likely due to the careless deeds of others. It's how anything get's baned these days... too many people abusing the space. I agree with what was said above, there is a lot of grey area about who owns the rights to control airspace, and at the end of the day the person enforcing it is going to do what they think will keep their job.

    On the bright side, there are plenty of nice places to enjoy flying in and around St. George.
     
  7. RC5728

    RC5728 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the locals clearly “had” to ban drones there.

    Give me a break.

    With that pathetic attitude, it’s shocking we don’t have more pointless regulations.

    The real people to blame are the lame pushovers in the drone community.
     
  8. zezrum

    zezrum Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure as to the exact reason they've locked out lame drone community pushovers from flying in Snow Canyon, but I do know that my pathetic attitude has more to do with the fact that in that very area just over a year ago while fighting to save homes & lives from wildfire, multiple times air support was diverted due to drone activity in the area, despite pointless regulations prohibiting such.

    What exactly is your proposed solution?
     
  9. RC5728

    RC5728 Well-Known Member

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    In Snow Canyon State Park? Really?

    Absolutely not. So your anecdote is irrelevant and pointless.
     
  10. zezrum

    zezrum Well-Known Member

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    Pine Valley. Just up the street from Snow Canyon. Happened.

    So like I said, I'm not sure exactly what happened in Snow to cause their restrictions (it would be nice to know, so if you do please share), but I'm more interested in your proposed solution. Listen, I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm seriously concerned about watching legal, enjoyable places to operate disappear for hobbyists, and mountains of red-tape/approvals be added for commercial operators. At the same time, it's hard to deny the (hopefully unintentional) negative impacts of those operating poorly.

    So how do we go about making things better?
     
  11. RC5728

    RC5728 Well-Known Member

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    No newsworthy incident with a drone has ever happened in Snow Canyon State Park, so that other anecdote is still irrelevant.

    The park rule in the OP was probably made by some big shot who just dislikes drones and doesn’t want them around. Like the National Park Service, they probably think drones are a “nuisance” issue, even though cars and motorcycles are allowed and they’re much louder than drones.

    Obviously whoever made the rule is very ignorant about drones, because the rule is clearly illegal/invalid by the FAA’s interpretation of things. The airspace above the park is controlled by the FAA, and it’s always legal to fly in that airspace from the outside. If their rule is challenged in court, the park will lose.
     
  12. Qoncussion

    Qoncussion Well-Known Member

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    The interesting thing is that there is no grey area. In all of the cases I have seen, the FAA controls the airspace. Some property owners have been given an allowance of (something like) 85' over their property, but what we thought (originally) was a grey area has been time and time again ruled in favor of the FAA having total jurisdiction. Many community *regulations* that are put forth hold no legal value. But as @tcope said above, you will find yourself dealing with good people who are only doing their job.
     
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