Not allowed!
  • P.C.
  • Not allowed!

Well. It turns out the Slog drone and its kind are not allowed in Seattle's parks. So, while I did not violate Paul Constant's civil rights last month by spying on him with the Slog drone in Volunteer Park, I did violate park rules.

Specifically, Seattle Parks Department rule 18.12.265, which states:

It is unlawful to operate any motorized model aircraft or motorized model watercraft in any park except at places set apart by the Superintendent for such purposes or as authorized by a permit from the Superintendent.

At present, zero places have been set aside by the Superintendent for drone use. However, parks spokesperson Dewey Potter has kindly granted the Slog drone and its operator amnesty for the flights we took before we became aware of this situation.

What about a special "permit from the Superintendent" that would allow the Slog drone to fly in some section of some city park in the future? After some back of forth over the possibility of such a permit, Jeff Hodges, of the department's Event Management Office, has said no.

Writes Hodges:

We have authorized permits for new and currently prohibited activities in cases where it is clear there is an emerging public desire for the activity, or in cases where there is a special reason for approving an exception...

After the review of your request, we feel it does not meet either of these criteria. I suggest that if you want to pursue it, you try to put together a group of other drone users and make a case for the need, or provide Parks with a compelling reason to approve an exception.

I wonder if this might count as evidence of "emerging public desire" to fly drones in Seattle parks:

At the very least, there appears to already be some public desire to buzz the Great Wheel and fly over Lake Washington.

But apparently I need to be part of a group if I want the Parks Department to relax its drone rules.

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So, if you have a drone and want to be part of a group petitioning the Seattle Parks Department for space to fly drones legally, put "DRONES!" in the subject line and e-mail me.

Meanwhile, let's check in with the High Court of Slog.