The Case for Banning Drones at Ski Areas

The National Ski Area Association (NSAA), the trade association for 330 ski areas in the United States and Canada, released a sample policy that bans drones without prior authorization. An overwhelming majority of the organization’s resorts, from Aspen to Jackson Hole, have already put that ban in place, or soon will.

“Drone technology is relatively new, and given that ski areas tend to be at high altitude and in cold climates, which affects the battery life of drones, their reliability remains untested,” says Dave Byrd, director of risk and regulatory affairs at the NSAA.

“We’re also concerned that they may crash into chairlift towers, fall onto people, or startle people because of their noise and cause collisions. Also, having noisy drones flying all over the place goes against the grain of the sort of skiing-in-nature experience.”

Pretty sober risk assessment. Except where they say do what you want in the backcountry – which is not technically true since it is part of the NAS and it is possible to conflict with SAR activities trying to find the unlucky and the judgment impaired.


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