Thinking about skipping part of the impending brutal Australian Summer to smash out some fresh powdery tracks in the white gold overseas? If you are, perhaps you’re also thinking about packing that sensational new DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone. Maybe you want to snag some sweet aerial footage like this.
Sorry to stop you in your tracks, but if this is something on the bucket list here are 5 things you should check upfront to help avoid being caught-cold.
1. Check the Ski Resort’s website
This is the natural first port of call as most well-known ski resorts have a drone-use policy. Having examined a number of domestic and international ski resort drone-use policies, the default position from ski resorts falls in 1 of 2 categories. These seem to be either:
- “No, you can’t. Period.”, or
- “No, you can’t, unless we grant you some form of special approval”.
This is where you need to ask yourself “How important is getting the shot?”. Sometimes the time and cost involved in lining up approvals is more hassle than it’s worth.
If you’re a commercial operator, perhaps it’s worth it. Factor in time delays in any approval process. Also, factor in the potential that any application you submit may not be approved. Even if it is approved, the approval may come with unfavourable conditions… get the (snow)drift?
2. If you can’t see a drone-use policy on the Ski Resort’s website, there’s no guarantee that there isn’t one
For example, it could exist on a sign at the Ski Resort’s main terminal. The policy may even be added to the website between the time you buy the plane ticket and the time you want to fly your drone.
Even if there is no policy, query whether a member of ski patrol could confiscate your ski (mountain) pass (or fine you) for doing something perceived as “risky or dangerous”.
3. Check the fine print terms and conditions
Terms and conditions are typically embedded in ski (mountain) pass booking documentation. Does this say anything about drones?
4. If you book through a travel agent, check what they know
Check what your travel agent knows about the general “dos and don’ts” when it comes to flying overseas and in ski resorts. Take any information you receive with a grain of salt as they’re travel agents and not licensed to provide legal advice.
5. You may also want to check out this helpful site, courtesy of UAV Coach
UAV Coach is a good general starting point for finding out information about laws on flying drones internationally (and in specific States in the USA). I mention this because you should know the countries general drone rules even if a ski resort has a drone-use policy.
Read on here for Part 2 of this Quick Guide.
Thanks for reading!
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Photos by offshoresnowshapes from Instagram.
Feature photo by Johannes Waibel from Unsplash.