Hikers and nature enthusiasts out enjoying a spectacular day in the mountains around Jotunheimen’s national park on Sunday were startled, and disturbed, to suddenly have a drone flying over their heads and taking photos. Park officials intend to report the incident to police.
The drone, claimed national park manager Kari Sveen, constituted “a clear violation” of regulations that protect Norway’s national parks. Unlike national parks in many other countries, those in Norway are protected from development to protect pristine wilderness, and the drone could have disturbed nesting birds.
“It was also disturbing for hikers who were there to experience the mountains in peace and quiet,” Sveen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
Both she and another official from another nearby park reacted negatively to the drone, and Kristine Sørlie, manager of the wilderness area at Reinheimen, took photos and video herself of the intrusion. The drone was flying right over Norway’s highest peak, Galdhøpiggen, 2,469 meters above sea level. There are rules against flying over the area, even against model airplanes, so they feel the drone violated air space.
“We realize it may be difficult to find out who was operating the drone,” Sveen told NRK. “We must evaluate whether a complaint to police or a warning is the best approach. This is a new problem for many, and it may just be a result of the drone operator’s ignorance.”