Drones banned at Falls

Drones will no longer be allowed at Falls Creek. Picture: CHRIS HOCKING

Drones will no longer be allowed at Falls Creek. Picture: CHRIS HOCKING

THRILL seekers who were planning on filming all their snow action from the sky should think again after Falls Creek issued a new policy on drone use.

Falls Creek Resort management Board has declared the area a drone-free zone after it banned the use of all similar planes.

Rules set out by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority will be enforced for both private and commercial operators of drones.

Within those guidelines, the resort is ruled out as an area suitable for drone use due to the heli link service between Falls Creek and Mt Hotham.

The board’s chief executive Stuart Smythe said the resort already had a “very active” airspace.

“The resort simply cannot allow the use of such devices in the interests of public safety and with respect to damage to property, infrastructure and people in general,” Mr Smythe said.

Ski patrol employees as well as staff working on the ski lifts will be watching for drones.

Permits will only be issued for experienced and qualified operators who are using them for commercial or promotional purposes.

Marketing communications manager at Fall Creek Resort Management Jo Prothero said the move comes as the devices become more affordable and easier for people to access.

“You don’t know how easy they are to control and if you have several in the same vicinity there could be collisions with other planes, infrastructure, skiers and snow boarders,” she said.

“You can’t operate such devices within a certain vicinity, if there are helicopters in the area.

For those wanting to record action, helmet cameras including GoPros are still OK to use.