(WBIR- Sevier County) The National Park Service banned drones last week from the Appalachian Trail, which crosses through Tennessee and 13 other states.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is enforcing this rule on the 70 miles the trail runs through the park according to Dana Soehn, a park spokesperson.
"Nobody expects to have a drone buzzing past them," Soehn said. "For us, we felt like it detracted from the overall visitor experience."
Soehn said the park has never allowed aircraft to launch, land, or operate within the park. On June 20, the park extended this rule to include unmanned aircraft.
On Aug. 7, the National Park Service released a similar rule that states, "Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on the lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent."
Kenneth Winter, a pilot who flies unmanned aircraft as a hobby, said the National Park Service does not have the authority to ban flight over the trail since the FAA regulates airspace.
"There's no way for them to enforce it because the person is not at the location of the drone," Winter said. "If it's a sophisticated piece of equipment, they could be five or ten miles away."
Soehn said the park was concerned about preserving visitor privacy, which is one reason for implementing this rule.
A move that some visitors appreciated.
"I don't want people filming me and my family while we're on vacation, and that's possibly what they could do," said Michael Perleberg, a park visitor.
But for some visitors, the drones are not an issue.
"I don't think privacy would be too much of an issue for us," said Kenneth Jolly, a park visitor. "I mean we're out here enjoying nature, and if people want to use a drone to take some nature pictures, that's fine with me."
The park said people have used drones in and above the park before, but now a person can be fined for using one within the park.