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Pima County parks banning use of drones

Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 19:19:07-05

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Drones may be on several holiday wish lists, but Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation is asking you to leave them at home if you are planning to visit one of the county’s urban or open space parks.

According to a media release from Pima County, radio-controlled (RC) aircraft have been prohibited outside designated areas for many years, mostly due to safety and noise complaints.
 
Those complaints have increased with the growing popularity of drones, said Kerry Baldwin, Natural Resources Division Manager.
 
Baldwin said his office is getting numerous noise complaints from patrons of the quieter, natural resource parks such as Tucson Mountain Park and Agua Caliente Park.
 
“We’ve heard that individuals have been flying drones at very low elevations over the heads of other park users and at park-based events,” Baldwin said. “We also have reports of individuals using drones in ways that harasses wildlife, which is a violation of state and federal law."
 
Drone users are responsible for keeping up with the many changing rules and regulations governing drone usage.
 
Baldwin recommends new drone owners find locations to fly that are not in conflict with other people, are on private lands or at an established radio-controlled aircraft flying facility.