What does the Aviation Division do?
The Aviation Division is responsible for all aviation functions regarding state system planning, airport and aviation system development.
It also provides funding to communities for constructing and improving airports throughout the state.
North Carolina has 74 publicly owned airports and nearly 300 privately owned airports. Ten airports have regularly scheduled airline service & four serve international destinations. There are more than 7,000 registered aircraft based in the state and 14,000 licensed pilots.
More than 56 million passengers fly to and from North Carolina each year, and more than 800 million pounds of air freight originate annually in the state.
The services the Aviation Division offers include NCDOT State Aircraft Services and Safety & Education Support.
NCDOT & State Aircraft Services
The Aviation Division is also responsible for the operations and maintenance of DOT's two twin-engine aircraft, which provide a range of services such as:
- Aerial photography and spatial information products for transportation projects
- Passenger Service
- Aviation Safety
- Statewide Emergency Response
Contact the Aviation Division for more about how its aircraft services..
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
Right now, North Carolina is a leading pioneer in Unmanned Aircraft System legislation and regulation. The NCDOT is currently developing a commercial permit process, a knowledge test and other educational materials in support new state regulations.
UAS technology has the potential to change the way we approach agriculture, public safety, construction and many other industries that are important to North Carolina. As one of the leaders in UAS implementation, the Aviation Division aims to set an example to show how beneficial and safe this technology can be.
Learn more about UAS in North Carolina.
Safety & Education Support
The NCDOT Division of Aviation, Safety and Education Section, is dedicated to keeping North Carolina
"First in Flight" and "First in Safety." We work to create and promote safety and educational events
throughout the year. Content for programs is based on information received from accident data via the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Aircraft
Owners and Pilots Associations “Nall Report.” Customer demand and trends also play an important role
in our activities. NCDOT typically teams up with the FAA, state/federal government, aviation industry
representatives, volunteer groups and other organizations to provide educational opportunities for
aviation groups and the general public. Event types we help sponsor include:
- Pilot Education Events
- Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) and Inspection Authorization (IA) Education and license renewal Programs
- General Public and Youth Aviation Education Programs
For more information about what the Division can offer
you in regards to Safety & Education Support,
Listed below are specific programs supported by the Division of Aviation.
For more information regarding current event dates view our
Aviation Events Calendar.
- Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associatrion (AOPA) Air Safety Foundation Courses
We are excited to sponsor and partner with the AOPA ASF to bring high quality,
professional presentations to North Carolina. As one of our most highly attended
programs, pilots will agree that the AOPA ASF courses are well worth the time to
attend. Typically seminars are co-located with our Fall and Spring Wings Fly-in
events with an additional tour of 3 to 4 locations the week following the Wings
- NC Annual Soaring Safety Summit
Soaring Safety Summit brings together soaring pilots from North
Carolina and the East Coast. This exciting event is an effort to
serve the needs of a unique community of aviators who fly
unpowered aircraft. Many regional soaring organizations, the NC
Division of Aviation, and the FAA have come together to sponsor
- Helicopter Safety Summit
NCDOT Aviation co-sponsors an annual Helicopter Safety Summit bringing
in industry experts and representatives for presentations on new
technology, regulations and trends. Topics are selected by studying
accident data, industry technology and customer demand.
- Mountain Flying Clinics
On a bi-annual basis the NCDOT Aviation co-sponsors a Mountain Flying Clinic
consisting of seminars and flight training provided by experienced mountain
flying instructors. The goal of this program is to provide lectures along with
practical experience for maximum learning. We are working with local
representatives to capture pilots visiting western North Carolina into this
educational program through Aeronautical Chart safety messages, mailers, posters
and peak visitation class scheduling.
- NC Spring/Fall Wings Pilot Proficiency Program
This event features a combination of safety seminars, flight proficiency training,
aviation exhibitors, and a pilot appreciation banquet. At Wings, pilots will be
able to attend informative safety seminars and fly with a flight instructor. This
event qualifies under the FAA's Pilot Proficiency Program, also known as the Wings
Program. The Wings Program allows pilots to meet their mandatory FAA training
requirements (FAA Flight Review) by successfully completing a combination of online
and lecture classes, then receiving flight training from a FAA Certified Flight
Instructor. Pilots are required to fly to a "performance standard" to meet the FAA's
Wings requirements. This program was started to encourage pilots to receive training
on a more frequent basis than the FAA minimum of every 2 years. Participants can earn
a Basic, Advance or Master Pilot level award by completing the ground and flight
training requirements on a revolving yearly basis. Topics for online and lecture
classes are based on current accident data provided by the FAA, NTSB and the AOPA’s
Pilots certificated as Sport Pilot or higher are eligible to fly with a flight instructor
during the event for a complete training experience. Bring your own aircraft or choose
from a limited supply of rental aircraft and you will be on your way to your earning your
Wings! Don't forget about the Saturday evening "Pilot Appreciation Banquet". This banquet
promises food, folks, fun and a special banquet speaker for all those who sign up.
- Flight Instructor Workshops
It has been long understood that the best way to evoke positive change in pilot education
is through the FAA Certified Flight Instructor. Initiated by the FAA, NCDOT Aviation is
co-sponsoring an aggressive program to offer 32 Flight Instructor Workshops across North
Carolina on a yearly basis. Topics are targeted using current accident data, trends and
- Aviation Maintenace Technician (AMT)/Inspection Authorization (IA) Safety Programs
Aviation maintenance safety is an important component to flight safety. We take the job of
educating AMTs seriously in North Carolina. AMTs can attend 2 hour seminars held in many
locations across the state for the attainment of an FAA AMT Awards Program and IA Renewal
requirements. This program allows AMTs to earn a Bronze, Silver or Gold level award depending
on how much training is received throughout the year. We have partnered with industry to offer
programmed instruction and educational facility tours for a dynamic offering of educational
AMTs with an advanced IA standing can complete their yearly 8 hour training requirement
(if applicable) by attend four, 2 hour programs or yearly one day 8 hour events. Eight hours
events are typically held in March of every year corresponding with the IA renewal month requirement.
- Flying Companion Course
This course is designed for persons that are described as "frequent flyers" in general aviation
aircraft. The goal of the Companion Pilot Course is to give participants “flight confidence”
through a better understanding of the aircraft systems and operations. Opportunities to fly with
an FAA Certified Flight Instructor are also available during many of these events.
- General Public Education
NCDOT Aviation will bring a speaker to your group to talk about aviation, airports, aviation
safety and/or state government aviation. It is our belief that the more the general public knows
about aviation the better off everyone is at understanding the unique opportunities and challenges
that exist in this great industry.
- Youth Aviation Education
NCDOT Aviation realizes the importance of supporting youth aviation education in our state. We do this
through the co-sponsorship of an Aviation Explorer Post, "A Day at the Airport" programs, Aviation Youth
Camps, career days and educational materials.
- EAA's Young Eagle Flights
The Division of Aviation supports the Experiment Aircraft Associations (EAA) "Young Eagles Program." This
program goes beyond talking about flying or "hangar flying" as pilots call it, to getting kid's ages 8-17
years old in an aircraft for a trilling airplane ride. The Division of Aviation supports state EAA Chapter
efforts through co-sponsorship of events and materials. To get your child involved or to volunteer visit
their web site (below):
- North Carolina Military Bases
When flying in eastern North Carolina pilots will often find themselves near active military airfeilds or training
airspace. In order to ensure the safety of both general aviation and military pilots the military has created
an excellent website for pilots called See and Avoid. In addition the 4th Fighter Wing based at Seymour
Johnson AFB has published a helpful pamphlet explaining their operations.