I was browsing Reddit the other day and came across these drone photos of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, along with an explanation of how they came to be. And as you’ll come to find out, it wasn’t an easy process. You know, because you can’t fly drones in a National Park..
The photos and video you see here were shot by STL From Above, a popular drone photog who was hired by the Gateway Arch to take pictures of the Arch and the park. But due to the various rules in place, he spent 8 months in bureaucratic hell, filing endless paperwork with the FAA, National Park Service, Homeland Security, and the Office of the Interiors.
below, he recounts the process he had to go through:
After getting permission from the park, I had to get permission from the FAA to fly in the no-fly zone of the park. After that we went to the National Park Service and got permission from them to fly within the park. After the National Park Service then we had to get permission from Homeland Security and the Office of Interiors to be able to launch from within the park. As it turns out it was easier for me to fly from the boat dock on the riverfront so I didn’t even end up launching from within the park. there was a lot of planning and safety briefings I had to put together and inform everyone of the rules and etiquette for flying a drone. It all went very smoothly and I didn’t have any issues with local law enforcement or anyone complaining thankfully.
While it sounded like a nightmare having to deal with all of the red tape, I think you’ll agree that the end results are totally worth it. I’ve yet to make it to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, but it’s definitely on my bucket list, even more so after seeing these pics!
Here are some of the photos he shared from his Imgur account:
If that’s not enough, he also shared this video from his drone flight:
For those of you curious, he shot these photos and video with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, which isn’t that expensive in the grand scheme of things. I might have to invest in one of these myself!