Restrictions of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Date: August 3, 2016
Contact: George Price, Superintendent, 508-957-0739

Superintendent George Price wants to remind park visitors that drones, more technically known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), are banned from launching, landing or operating from lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Cape Cod National Seashore.

This restriction is consistent with the National Park Service policy which recognizes that the use of unmanned aircraft constitutes a new park use that affects park resources, staff and visitors.The prohibition was instituted in response to complaints of drone use in western National Park units harassing wildlife and visitors, and directly interfering with airborne firefighting efforts.Cape Cod National Seashore, like all National Park units, is charged with protecting resources and ensuring visitor safety.Seashore staff has already witnessed UAS users harassing animals within the seashore boundary and as a result criminal citations were issued to the drone operators.

The following are examples of activities that are strictly prohibited:

If an unmanned aircraft is used in pursuit or to harass or to tease, frighten or intentionally disturb wildlifethe operator of the unmanned aircraft could be cited for a violation of Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 2.2 (a).The maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $5000 fine.

If the operator of the unmanned aircraft knowingly or recklessly creates a risk of public alarm or nuisance by causing noise that was unreasonable under the circumstances, or by creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition, the user could be cited for disorderly conduct under Title 36 CFR 2.34.The maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $5000 fine.

If the operator of the unmanned aircraft launches, lands or operates from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Cape Cod National Seashore, the user could be cited for a closure violation, under Title 36 CFR 1.5.The maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $5000 fine.

Park managers understand the benefits that a limited use of unmanned aircraft systems provide for research, administrative use, and public safety.Public use of UAS is not compatible based upon the purpose of the park's establishment, which seeks the protection of scenic values and impacts from noise, as well as potential conflicts with wildlife and visitors.Unauthorized UAS usage can quickly and easily intrude on a visitor's enjoyment of the park.

Last updated: August 3, 2016

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Wellfleet, MA 02667

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