Corps unveils policy for operation of drones
August 7, 2016 Share

Corps unveils policy for operation of drones

Nashville, Tenn. (Aug. 5, 2016) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District has a new policy that governs the operation and use of recreational unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at all Nashville District lakes within the Cumberland River Basin.

The guidance has designated safe locations to fly drones for hobbyists, while at the same time prohibiting drones where people are camping and recreating such as designated swim beaches.  The policy also prohibits UAS flights near critical infrastructure such as locks, dams, power plants and switch yards.

“Flying various types of drones has become popular and we know people like flying them in open areas for recreational use, but we want to make sure they adhere to restrictions for public safety while utilizing Corps lakes and recreation facilities,” said Mark Klimaszewski, Natural Resources specialist.

Drones should be operated in accordance with applicable state laws and Federal Aviation Administration regulations including any UAS registration requirements. They may be flown only during daylight hours only and while maintaining a visual line of sight of the aircraft while it is in operation.

Approved Locations

Lake Barkley: Canal Overlook Recreation Area
Cheatham Lake: Brush Creek Recreation Area
J. Percy Priest Lake: Fall Creek Recreation and Vivrette Creek Recreation Areas
Old Hickory Lake: Sanders Ferry Park, Nat Caldwell Park and Lock Four Recreation Areas
Center Hill Lake: Johnsons Chapel Recreation Area
Cordell Hull Lake: Brimstone Recreation Area
Dale Hollow Lake: Keisling Bottom Recreation Area
Lake Cumberland: Pulaski County Park.

Operators will be held liable for damage to Corps of Engineers property resulting from piloting a drone or any other activity associated with operating a UAS.

The operation of unmanned aircraft that harasses or jeopardizes wildlife, including listed endangered and threatened species or critical habitat is prohibited.  Critical habitat include areas that contain the physical and biological features that are essential to the conservation of a given species or group of species and that may require special management or protection.

Violations may result in removal from federal property and potential citations.

The authority to approve exceptions to the policy is delegated to the Operations Project Managers.  Call the lake resource manager’s offices for more information or to request an exception to policy.

Lake Barkley (270) 362-4236
Center Hill Lake (931) 858-3125
Cheatham Lake (615) 792-5697
Cordell Hull Lake (615) 735-1034
Dale Hollow Lake (931) 243-3136
J. Percy Priest Lake (615) 889-1975
Old Hickory Lake (615) 822-4846
Lake Cumberland (606) 679-6337
Laurel River Lake (606) 864-6412
Martins Fork Lake (606) 5731468

Commercial drone operators and video production companies must contact the lake resource managers’ offices to obtain an event permit to film at a Nashville District lake.  They must also contact the Public Affairs Office at 615-736-7161 for a production assistance agreement before filming, which takes a minimum of two weeks to accomplish.