Drone footage of clashes with police at the campsite have gone viral.
This weekend the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restrictionover the Standing Rock oil pipeline protest in North Dakota, banning all aircraft except those flying in support of law enforcement. The FAA will make exceptions for journalists as long they get special approval beforehand.
Drones have been used to capture footage of police clashes with protesters attempting to block the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being built a half-mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and would cross under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe — the tribe’s main source of drinking water.
Earlier this month drone footage of protesters being sprayed with water cannons in freezing weather went viral, but it was taken before the FAA ban. Now drone videographers are not allowed to collect aerial video of the ongoing protest at the campsite until Dec. 2, when the ban lifts. The FAA requires journalists to go through a process to get approval to fly a drone during the ban, yet it’s hard to predict when a newsworthy confrontation between police and protesters will occur. No requests from media have been granted yet, according to an FAA spokesperson.