Yosemite bans drones

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Visitors to Yosemite National Park aren't allowed to bring their drones with them.

The National Park Service announced this month that using drones in the California park is prohibited in all circumstances, citing an existing regulation that barred “delivering or retrieving a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means" except for emergencies or by special permit.

“This applies to drones of all shapes and sizes,” the park said.

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Over the law few years, Yosemite has seen an increase in the number of people bringing in drones to for filming purposes, officials said.

But according to the park service, the drones create a fair amount of noise, interfere with emergency rescue operations, and can disturb wildlife like birds that nest on cliff walls.

“Drones can also impact the wilderness experience for other visitors, creating an environment that is not conducive to wilderness travel,” the park said.

Drones have become commonly associated with their use in military efforts, but domestic regulators are only beginning to come to grips with how to police private and commercial uses.

A Senate panel this year probed the issue with leaders of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as companies like Amazon consider the possibility of using drones to deliver shipments to customers. Facebook has openly speculated about the prospect of using drones, along with lasers and satellites, to deliver the Internet to remote and developing countries.

Congress tasked the FAA with coming up with a plan to boost the commercial use of drones in the country by next year. In the meantime, the agency has halted efforts by the Washington Nationals baseball team to use a drone for photos as well as an Internet beer company that wanted to use the vehicles to deliver its goods.