News Releases

3/9/2016: NCDOT to Help Airport Staff Manage Wildlife Hazards

NCDOT to Help Airport Staff Manage Wildlife Hazards

Posted 3/9/2016 11:26:35 AM

RALEIGH – They may look innocent, but birds and other wildlife can pose serious threats to airport safety. To help teach staff how to deal with wildlife hazards, the N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation is offering free training sessions at airports across the state. The sessions are taught by Federal Aviation Administration-trained wildlife biologists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will cover topics such as basic wildlife identification, wildlife attractants and habitat management, and safety issues with equipment and procedures. The sessions are open to all North Carolina airport personnel as well as anyone interested in managing wildlife hazards on or near airports. The sessions will be held: March 22, 2016 - Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) April 27, 2016 - Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ) May 10, 2016 - Concord Regional Airport (JQF) June 22, 2016 - Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) July 12, 2016 - Statesville Regional Airport (SVH) Sept. 6, 2016 - Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT) Nov. 17, 2016 - Pitt-Greenville Airport (PGV) For more information or to register, contact Trevor Michaels, USDA Wildlife Services, at (919) 357-0414 or email trevor.a.michaels@usda.aphis.gov. ***NCDOT***
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2/19/2016: 2016 N.C. Aviation Art Contest Winners Announced

2016 N.C. Aviation Art Contest Winners Announced

Posted 2/19/2016 12:57:00 PM

RALEIGH – Hundreds of young artists put pen, crayon, paint and colored pencil to paper to create entries for the N.C. Department of Transportation’s 2016 Aviation Art Contest. A record 801 students from across North Carolina entered the contest, and now the results are in. The state’s Division of Aviation coordinates the contest, which offers all children who live in or attend school in North Carolina the chance to explore different aspects of aviation and express their creativity. Participants were asked to create original artworks inspired by this year’s theme, "Air Sports in Harmony with Nature." Young artists from 168 towns and 69 schools across the state entered the 2016 competition. “This contest is a great way for kids to learn more about aviation,” said Division of Aviation Director Bobby Walston. “We love engaging with students and seeing their creativity.” This years’ entries were judged by a panel of local art enthusiasts, members of the aviation community and NCDOT employees. The judges looked for originality, adherence to the theme and overall aesthetics to make their selections. Entries are divided into three age groups. The top three entries in each age group advance to the national competition in Washington, D.C. National winners advance to the international competition in Switzerland. The U.S. portion of the contest is sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association, managed by the NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education and sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott, Ken Cook Co., the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education with additional support from NASAO members. Click here to view a photo gallery of this year’s winning entries. The top finishers in each category, with their schools, are: JUNIOR First Place: Austin Stephenson, Angier Elementary School, Angier; age 10 Second Place: Evalee Breault, Angier Elementary School, Angier; age 10 Third Place: Jingming Li, Rashkis Elementary School, Chapel Hill; age 9 INTERMEDIATE First Place: Hyunmin Ra, Berean Baptist Academy, Fayetteville; age 13 Second Place: Maggie Rand, Roxboro Community School, Roxboro; age 14 Third Place: Olivia Demi Machado, Lake Wylie Elementary, Charlotte, NC; age 11 SENIOR First Place: Lauren McLaughlin, Green Hope High School, Cary; age 17 Second Place: Siana Thomas, Corinth-Holders High School, Wendell; age 17 Third Place: Joann Jackson, Green Hope High School, Cary; age 16 Visit the Aviation Art Contest website for information about the competition.  
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1/15/2016: NCDOT Creates One-Stop Shop for NC Drone Operators

NCDOT Creates One-Stop Shop for NC Drone Operators

Posted 1/15/2016 1:41:13 PM

RALEIGH – As drones become more common in American households and businesses, the N.C. Department of Transportation is working to help promote safety on the air and on the ground by educating drone operators in our state.    Drones, also called Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), offer a wide variety of uses – from tech-loving hobbyists to professional photographers, university researchers, agricultural operations and government organizations.   Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the NCDOT Division of Aviation classify UAS flight operations by three categories: Recreational – Any UAS flight that is conducted solely for recreation. Government – Any UAS flight conducted by a government entity to support their work. Commercial – Any UAS flight that serves a business purpose or provides a business benefit, even if that benefit is indirect. At the direction of the North Carolina General Assembly, NCDOT launched a permitting system for commercial and government UAS operators in North Carolina. The system is designed to help UAS owners better understand restrictions on the use of their technology through a simple and efficient online process.   Starting January 2016, all government and commercial UAS operators must obtain a permit from NCDOT’s Division of Aviation.   “This permitting process will help educate UAS owners,” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “We want to encourage safe and responsible drone operations in North Carolina.”   To obtain a permit, users must first pass the North Carolina UAS Operators Knowledge Test. A guide is available to help users study before taking the test.    In addition to passing the Knowledge Test, users must meet certain FAA requirements to obtain a commercial or government operator permit in North Carolina. The full requirements are available on the Division of Aviation website (ncdot.gov/aviation).   Operators who meet all requirements will receive a paper permit, similar to a driver license, that they will be required to keep with them while conducting commercial or government UAS operations.    Recreational users are not required to complete the permit process, but are strongly encouraged to review the study guide and take the Knowledge Test to better understand UAS regulations in North Carolina.    UAS operators, whether recreational, government or commercial, should keep in mind that North Carolina has laws governing drone use. Drone users are subject to all North Carolina laws, even if UAS technology is not mentioned in the specific statute.    UAS owners must also register drones weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds with the FAA. More information about registration is available on the FAA’s UAS website (faa.gov/uas/registration).    Current and potential drone owners can find more information about state and federal UAS regulations on the Division of Aviation’s website.   
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11/30/2015: NCDOT Offers Holiday Tips for Drone Safety

NCDOT Offers Holiday Tips for Drone Safety

Posted 11/30/2015 2:49:29 PM

RALEIGH – This holiday season, one of the most popular gifts might actually fly off the shelves. Whether they’re called quadcopters, radio controlled planes, or any of the high tech brand names, drones are expected to be big sellers this year, with some estimating as many as 700,000 will make their way into Americans’ homes by the end of December.  All of these devices fall under the category of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). UAS technology is an exciting and evolving field, which can lead to confusion for both UAS owners and the general public. The N.C. Department of Transportation is offering tips to help UAS owners enjoy their new technology while protecting citizens’ safety and privacy. “We’re proud of North Carolina’s legacy of being first in manned flight,” said NCDOT Secretary Nick Tennyson. “The academic and industry researchers in our state will make us a leader in unmanned flight as well.” NCDOT’s Division of Aviation has established guidelines for UAS operation in North Carolina. Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the NCDOT Division of Aviation classify UAS flight operations by three categories: Recreational - Any UAS flight that is conducted solely for the purpose of recreation. Government – Any UAS flight conducted by a government entity to support their work. Commercial – Any UAS flight that serves a business purpose or provides a business benefit, even if that benefit is indirect. Government and commercial UAS operators must adhere to state and federal requirements established by the North Carolina General Assembly and the FAA. Each classification is subject to specific regulations and guidelines. Many of the UAS owners who receive a drone during this holiday season will use them for purely recreational purposes. While recreational UAS flights are not heavily regulated, the FAA and model aircraft enthusiast groups have established a number of guidelines which should be followed to ensure a fun and safe experience: Always fly below an altitude of 400 feet and fly within your direct line of sight. Do not fly within 5 miles of an airport, near stadiums or other public events, or for compensation. Do not fly UAS that weigh more than 55 pounds. Do not fly at night, even if your UAS is equipped with lights. “UAS technology is fun and exciting, but it needs to be used responsibly,” said Division of Aviation Director Bobby Walston. “These guidelines will help ensure the safety of people in the air and on the ground.”  UAS operators, whether recreational, government or commercial, should keep in mind that North Carolina has laws governing drone use. UAS users are subject to all North Carolina laws, even if UAS technology is not specifically mentioned. Current and potential drone owners can find more information about state and federal UAS regulations on the Division of Aviation’s website. 
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11/4/2015: 2016 Aviation Art Contest Call for Entries

2016 Aviation Art Contest Call for Entries

Posted 11/4/2015 10:58:26 AM

RALEIGH – It’s that time again! The N.C. Department of Transportation is seeking entries for the 2016 North Carolina Aviation Art Contest. This year’s theme is Air Sports in Harmony with Nature. Kids are encouraged to explore the unique ways in which air sports enthusiasts experience and interact with nature.   The contest, sponsored by N.C. Transportation’s Division of Aviation, is open to children between the ages of six and 17. The entry deadline is Jan. 22, 2016. All children who live in and/or attend school in North Carolina are encouraged to participate.   Entries will be divided into junior, intermediate and senior categories. The top three entries in each age group will move on to the national competition in Washington, D.C. National award winners will have a chance to compete internationally!   Contest rules and guidelines, as well as where to submit entries, are available on the Division of Aviation’s website.  
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