WITH drones likely to be popular stocking fillers this Christmas, visitors are reminded that launching and landing a drone is prohibited in the parks and reserves that Parks Victoria manages across the state.

The rules ensure parks can be enjoyed by all visitors.

Drones have the potential to injure other park visitors and are a nuisance for people wanting to enjoy the beauty of Victoria’s natural environment.

Drones also disturb wildlife – raptors (eagles, hawks, kites, et cetera) often view drones as an intruder and have been known to attack them, while other birds and animals may see drones as a predator.

Park rangers often see drones flown without a permit at Parks Victoria’s popular visitor spots.

Landing or launching a drone without a permit in parks can attract an infringement of $793, with a maximum fine of up to $3171.40.

Drones are considered aircraft under National Park regulations.

Those regulations govern the use of aircraft within parks. Drone pilots must also meet rules set down by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Parks Victoria manages 180 national, state, regional and marine parks, nature conservation reserves and wilderness parks across Victoria.

Our parks are special places to be enjoyed by all our visitors.

Drones are a safety risk to other visitors and harass native wildlife.

To preserve these special places for everyone and protect our unique plants and animals drone flying is not permitted.

Unfortunately, some visitors fly close to wildlife and near crowded lookouts and visitor locations, increasing the risk of injury to animals and visitors.

Some people fly drones near airfields where planes and helicopters are taking off and landing. Flying a drone near bushfires could force the grounding of firefighting aircraft.

We manage some spectacular locations and we want everyone to be able to enjoy them.

If you got a drone for Christmas, avoid a fine and don’t bring it to our parks.

Chris Mercier,

Statewide enforcement co-ordinator