Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Hello my name is Nicholas Fitzke and I am the ProRanger currently stationed at San Juan National Historic Site.

Week 4 has come to a close. This week I got some valuable knowledge about drones or as the Federal Aviation Administration calls them, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). 

Alongside my chief ranger and other members of law enforcement  from the surrounding agencies (Forrest Service / Fish and Wildlife) I attended a meeting at the FAA officer here in San Juan.

This meeting was very informative about the new regulations of lark there of regarding UAS use. The most important note I took away from the meeting were that there is no state or local laws in Puerto Rico that prohibit the use of UAS. Although there are some federal regulations for how UAS should be used and areas they are prohibited. 

Me meeting LE from other agencies.
But despite all of these regulations there seems to be no real way for the FAA to enforce these rules. This was troubling because as the NPS looks to the FAA as the experts on UAS regulation and management there was little example of action we should take against violators.

There is a service wide deceleration that UAS are prohibited in the parks but this doesn't provide any real system for managing the ever growing UAS use. It seems that park law enforcement will just have to think outside the box when it comes to enforcing this directive. It also seems that the FAA's main directive now is to push education.

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