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Drone Zones

We live in times when technology races ahead of regulation. The field of bioethics in medicine is one area where medical technology has made procedures possible before serious ethical reflection and political debate can guide its implementation.

Drone technology, especially the miniaturization of components, has also quickly brought to market inexpensive and relatively easy to operate unmanned aircraft that have legislators struggling to keep up.

Are you ready for wedding drones? Seriously.  They are becoming quite popular with wedding photographers for the bird's eye view they give of the church and its environs. 

After a recent wedding employed a photographic drone around the wedding time, we were prompted to check with both law enforcement and the Diocese of Trenton to formulate a policy regarding their use at Holy Cross weddings.

Diocesan liability insurers have recommended prohibiting drone photography at weddings. In addition, the parish can exclude drone operators from being present on parish or school property for the purpose of operating a drone. 

Our concerns are twofold: safety of persons on the ground and privacy both during worship services and school activities such as recess, gym, etc.

Other than near airports and stadiums, the law is surprisingly silent on drone flyovers. Legislation is being discussed at the state level and the Federal Aviation Association has issued recent guidelines for recreational drone flying, including a requirement that many drones be registered and that drone operators be 13 years of age or older and US Citizens or foreign nationals.  Here is an excerpt from the "Fly for Fun" publication by the FAA:

  • Fly at or below 400 feet
  • Keep your UAS within sight
  • Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
  • Never fly over groups of people
  • Never fly over stadiums or sports events
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
  • Never fly under the influence
  • Be aware of airspace requirements

Reasonable requests for drone photography from experienced operators with registered drones over our campus can be considered. Please call the Parish Office to arrange for a safe time.