Finding the perfect spot to practice your drone flying is difficult, especially if you’re someone who lives in a densely populated area like Chicago. Flying around buildings is never the safest option, sometimes it’s even considered illegal, and even pesky trees can become annoying when learning to fly. The easiest drone flying is done in an open area where you can fly at fast speeds and not have to worry about obstacles, and the Park District in Naperville agrees as they have designated a park field for drone flights.
Planning the park
Officials hope to have the park ready to go by the first of October. As reported by the Daily Herald, the field will include several key components a drone pilot needs for flying, one of which is a concrete slab that can be used to launch and land drones. The park will also include benches and signs with rules. Although unknown what these specific rules are, director of parks Kevin Finnegan, stated that no drone racing can take place here. It is built for new pilots to practice their skills.
The size of the park is a 300-by-175-foot field that officials claim is seldom used. It also is rarely planned for any athletics which makes this the perfect area for flying drones. There is a 50-foot buffer between all sides of the park and the few neighboring properties thus minimizing concerns of spying or invading others property.
Park board president Mike Reilly stated that all pilots looking to use the space to fly their drone must register with the FAA. This can be done simply through their website for a fee of $5 and some of your personal information. You then get an ID number that is to be affixed to your drone in some way so that the pilot can be identified in the event of a crash. To ensure safety, park district police will ensure those flying are abiding by the rules set in place by the FAA like not flying over 400 feet or flying out of the visual line of sight.
What this means for the future
Drone pilots being given an area to fly might seem like some pilot’s drea, but could lead to zoning rules that no drone flyer wants. It’s great that new pilots have a place to go to practice their flying, but imagine a future where drone flights are restricted to certain areas.
I know that I don’t speak for myself when I say the freedom that comes with flying a drone might be the best part. Being able to travel and bring your drone with you to fly almost everywhere leaves you with amazing videos and photos to share online and use as memories. If we saw hobbyist drone flights restricted to certain areas in the future, that could ruin the fun for everyone.
What do you think about this new park being dedicated to new drone pilots? Let us know in the comments below.
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Photo credit: Daily Herald