Olympic National Park bans 'unmanned aircraft'

  - Submitted photo
— image credit: Submitted photo

Operating unmanned aircraft from or on National Park Service land and water administered within boundaries of Olympic National Park is prohibited, park officials announced today, Thursday, Aug. 28.

Sarah Creachbaum, Olympic National Park Superintendent, said the use of unmanned aircraft would "create unacceptable safety risks to park visitors, as well as impacts to visitor experience and enjoyment of the natural sights and sounds of Olympic National Park.”

Creachbaum noted that the Wilderness Act of 1964 prohibits use of motorized equipment in designated wilderness.

The term "unmanned aircraft," park officials clarified, means a device that is "used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device."

The term includes all types of devices that meet this definition — including model airplanes, quadcopters and drones — that are used for any recreational or commercial purpose, officials said.

For more information about the closure and other Olympic National Park regulations, see the Superintendent’s Compendium at


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