Aug 21 2015 / Utah
Since 'drones' became available to the masses, some amazing & unique photography & cinematography has resulted. Recently, there have been several new versions of drones that have built-in athlete GPS tracking, allowing users to record without the need to manually direct the drone's path.
With that Ski Utah thought it would be helpful to compile Utah resort's policies on unmanned aeriel systems into 3 categories... although the 3rd doesn't apply to any of our resorts: No Fly "NO" • Special Permit Required "✖" • No Limitations "√"
For those resorts who have specific drone policies drafted, we have their verbiage quoted below. (note: not all resorts have documented verbiage)
Because of safety and privacy concerns, Alta Ski Area prohibits the operation or use of unmanned aerial systems or drones (including model aircraft by recreational users and hobbyists) within or above the ski area boundaries without a prior written authorization, which will require unique circumstances that benefit Alta Ski Area. This prohibition includes drones used for filming or videotaping, as well as any drone use by media or journalists. Please submit any request for a prior written authorization to Connie Marshall email@example.com or 801.799.2263.
Due to safety and privacy concerns, Brian Head Resort (“Resort”) prohibits the operation or use on or above Resort property of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, by the general public (including model aircraft by recreational users and hobbyists) without the Resort’s prior written authorization. This prohibition includes drones used for filming or videotaping, as well as any drone use by media or journalists operating above or within the area boundaries. This prohibition extends to any devices launched or operated from Resort property, as well as any launched from private property outside of the Resort boundaries. Please contact Mac Hatch at (435) 677-2035 if you have any questions or if you seek prior authorization to operate any such devices. Any authorized operation of drones on or above Resort property will be governed by Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) rules and regulations, local law enforcement, and / or U.S. Forest Service rules, as well as those policies separately established by this Resort, which may include certification, training, insurance coverage, indemnification requirements, and waivers or releases of liability. Any violation of this policy may involve suspension of your access privileges to the Resort, or the revocation of your season pass, as well as confiscation of any prohibited equipment, and may subject violators to any liability for damages, including, but not limited to, damages for trespass, violations of privacy, and physical injuries to persons and/or property, as well as legal fees.
Automated Done use will be allowed at Brighton. The resort will permit a limited number of Drone flights per day. Automated Drone use will be restricted to specific ski runs and designated hours. Individuals in using an Automated Drone must register at the Resort Sports Desk prior to any Drone Flights.
Deer Valley Resort
Special permit required.
Special permit required.
Vail Resorts Statement: Usage of Drones (5.28.15)
In recent years, unmanned aerial systems (more commonly known as “drones”) have become increasingly popular among guests, event promoters and marketing teams. For safety reasons, recreational drone use is not permitted under our operating plans with the USFS. Likewise, commercial use is also prohibited on Vail Resorts’ property, except in limited circumstances when an approved operator has obtained an FAA exemption and received written permission from the resort. This includes use associated with special events, marketing and in film/photo applications.
This ski season, Powder Mountain will be debuting a flagship location for Cape Productions' drone video service. Guests can come up to Cape's geodesic dome near the top of the Sundown chairlift at the resort to purchase video packages shot by Cape's drones. Guests sign up, ride, and then receive their professionally edited drone videos. The service will be available to the public during Summit weekends throughout the ski season. For more information, visit capedrone.com
Powder Mountain Drone and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Policy:
Personal use of Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles at Powder Mountain is strictly prohibited. The airspace above Powder Mountain is protected space and this policy will be strictly enforced. Use of Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for official Powder Mountain purposes requires prior authorization.
Snowbasin Resort Company Drone Policy
Due to safety and privacy concerns, Snowbasin Resort Company prohibits the operation of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, on or above the resort by the general public — including model aircraft by recreational users and hobbyists — without the prior written authorization from Snowbasin Resort Company. This prohibition includes drones used for filming or videotaping, as well as any drone use by media or journalists operating above or within the resort area boundaries. This prohibition extends to any devices launched or operated from Snowbasin property, as well as any launched from private property outside of the resort area boundaries. Please contact a resort representative if you have any questions or if you seek prior authorization to operate any such devices within the resort's area boundary. Any authorized operation of drones on or above Snowbasin property will be governed by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations, local law enforcement and/or U.S. Forest Service rules, as well as those policies separately established by Snowbasin, which may include certification requirements, evidence of training completion, insurance coverage documentation, indemnification requirements and waivers or releases of liability. Any violation of this policy may result in any/all of the following: suspension of access privileges to the resort; revocation of season pass; confiscation of any prohibited equipment. Violators may also be subject to primary liability for damages; including, but not limited to, damages for trespass, violations of privacy and physical injuries to people and/or property, as well as legal defense costs.
Snowbird - There is no unauthorized use of drones
Commercial photography crews may receive approval on an individual basis. Even with commercial crews we restrict drone usage within posted operating hours in both winter and summer. Other factors with commercial crews at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort include flying drones within the vicinity of; or within the flight path of Wasatch Powder Guides. As helicopter traffic in Mineral Basin and Peruvian Gulch is common during the winters ski season. Other limiting factors include weather, visibility, and the pilot's knowledge of Snowbird terrain. All commercial crews must receive direct permission from Snowbird Mt. Safety and Ski Patrol teams.
Solitude Mountain Resort
The use of drones is not allowed anywhere at Solitude Mountain Resort.
Sundance's drone policy:
Out of safety concerns for guests, employees and resort property, as well as concerns for individual privacy, Sundance Mountain Resort ("Resort") prohibits the operation or use of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, by the general public—including recreational users and hobbyists—without the prior written authorization from the Resort. This prohibition includes drones used for filming or videotaping, as well as any drone use by media or journalists operating above or within Resort boundaries. This prohibition on drone operations or use extends to any drones launched or operated from Resort property, as well as drones launched from private property outside of the Resort boundaries.
Frank Waldes \ 7.1 years ago
It seems that the main concerns of flying are: safety, and privacy. Laws already exist regarding invasion of privacy regardless of the means. No need for further rules. Point two, at just 100 ft, people look basically like ants, and they would be challenging to identify, they are already in public space outdoors. Regarding safety, you can be well out of the way of people and still capture a crowd when filming from an oblique angle of some sort, the same goes with vehicles, and animals. Don't hover above a crowd when the battery is low seems like pretty basic common sense. For that matter, just don't hover over crowds. This leaves plenty of places where the biggest risk is crashing your quadcopter and having to replace it. I would wonder how the percentage of drone accidents compares to car accidents, but most of us drive. what is the comparative risk? This is what needs to be understood, in order to calm the fears of those who would banish them.
Dana Simonson \ 7.3 years ago
Until this article I didn't even know we were that far along with this to already have strict policies preventing their use. That's what I mean when I say "Great Information". Very educational. Keep it up!
Mark Williams \ 7.3 years ago
The policy against the use of drones "over" ski resort property on USFS land has no legal basis and can be ignored regardless of their "perceived authority". None of the resorts listed on this page can regulate flight over the property they either own or lease form the USFS.. The following text comes directly from the USFS web site on UAS policy:
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)(link is external) has regulatory authority over all airspace, including recreational use of airspace by model aircraft (See FAA Advisory Circular 91-57) (link is external). The U.S. Forest Service does not have the authority to establish any additional regulations regarding where UAS can or can’t be flown.
Individuals and organizations that fly UAS on National Forest System lands must follow FAA guidance(link is external) – FAA guidance stipulates that UAS not interfere with manned aircraft, be flown within sight of the operator and be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes. The FAA also requires model aircraft operators flying UAS within five miles of an airport to notify the airport operator and air traffic control tower. The FAA’s model aircraft provision apply only to hobby or recreation operations and do not authorize the use of model aircraft for commercial operations. For more information, watch the “Know Before You Fly” video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF5Q9JvBhxM&feature=youtu.be(link is external) and visit the Know Before You Fly Website at http://www.knowbeforeyoufly.org/(link is external)
Individuals and organizations that fly UAS for hobby or recreational purposes may not operate them in areas of National Forest System lands that have Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs)(link is external) in place, such as wildfires, without prior approval from the U.S. Forest Service.
JB Mc \ 7.7 years ago
What is the U.S. Forest Service stance or regulations regarding hobbyist drones? Where is it OK to fly them? Where not? Why?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has regulatory authority over ALL airspace, including recreational use of airspace by model aircraft, which is covered by FAA Advisory Circular 91-57. The U.S. Forest Service does not have the authority to establish any additional regulations regarding where a UAS can or can’t be flown. However, recreational UAS must abide by Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) in place by the FAA over disasters such as wildfires. The FAA also has an advisory (AIM Section 4, 7-4-6) with suggested limitations for flight over Wilderness areas. Unmanned Aircraft must abide with specifications identified through the FAA's Certificate of Authorization process which includes no flight over populated areas.
Again people making decision without information - So when I fly within all the FAA rules and two local "Public Safety" staff states they have a "law" but can't name it that says I can not fly anywhere in Little Cottonwood Canyon - Everyone print these pages and take with you. The laws are clear where you can and can not fly - let's not make up lies
Robert \ 7.6 years ago
The FAA DOES have regulations that disallow almost all flight of drones in national parks.
1. Takeoff or landing of any mechanized equipment (drones, aircraft, hobby or otherwise) are strictly prohibited in a wilderness area or on any land owned by the National Forest Service (per their own response to the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act).
2. There are altitude restrictions over national parks requiring no aircraft to fly less than 2,000 feet above the highest point on their flight path.
3. Drones CANNOT be flown out of sight of the operator.
Those three regulations make it essentially impossible for you to legally operate a drone in a national park unless you were very intentionally trying to subvert those regulations. There are also additional regulations that restrict certain activities over national parks that could disturb wildlife.
JB Mc \ 7.7 years ago
Reminds me of the first days of Snow Boarding - NO - not here - Public lands without public meetings and public input - private I understand. The FAA already has rules/laws in place that would cover flying over people - / I have a pilots lic. for 20+ years and fly all the local canyons within the law - / Here I see a group of uninformed people making a "policies" with out backing of the group that sets all laws on airspace the FAA - show me the rule in the FAR and I will follow it / This is very backyards thinking -
David Samuels \ 7.7 years ago
Thanks for posting official information and happy to see commercial operations are given an opportunity with FAA 333 Exemptions and authorization.