News Releases

6/22/2016: Federal Aviation Administration Announces New Drone Rules

Federal Aviation Administration Announces New Drone Rules

Posted 6/22/2016 4:09:38 PM

RALEIGH – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) unveiled new rules for drone operators on June 21. The N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation wants to help drone owners understand the new rules and how they impact drone operations in the state. Drones, also called unmanned aircraft systems, are an increasingly popular technology with many potential uses. The FAA’s new rules apply to both commercial and government operations of small drones (weighing less than 55 pounds.) Operators who previously received the required exemption or authorization from the FAA can continue to fly their small drones without further action. Once the new rules take effect in August, all other small drone operators will need to either obtain a Remote Pilot’s Certificate from the FAA or else operate the drone under the supervision of someone who has obtained the certificate. To obtain the certificate, operators must be at least 16 years old, pass a background check and pass a knowledge test administered by the FAA. Each certificate will be valid for two years. More information about the certificate is available on the FAA website. In addition to the certificate, the FAA released several updated guidelines for drone operators: Operators may fly both during the day and in twilight (30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, local time); The maximum allowable altitude is 400 feet above the ground, and the maximum allowable speed is 100 mph; Operators cannot fly a drone over anyone not involved with the drone operation; and Operators must keep a drone within their line of sight while it is flying. For small drone operations that fall outside of the restrictions imposed by the new rules, the FAA maintains the ability to grant authorizations on a case by case basis. Drone operators must also register their drones with the FAA. For a full list of federal drone regulations, visit the FAA’s website. Drone operators in North Carolina must obey all state and federal laws. In January 2016, the Division of Aviation introduced a permitting process for commercial and government drone operators in North Carolina. In addition to observing the FAA’s rules, operators must obtain a permit before conducting commercial or government drone operations in North Carolina. The Division of Aviation will continue to update its permitting system and website as the FAA introduces new drone regulations. For more information about operating a drone in North Carolina, visit the Division of Aviation website. ***NCDOT***
View on

6/17/2016: There’s Still Time to Sign Up for Aviation Education Summer Camps in NC

There’s Still Time to Sign Up for Aviation Education Summer Camps in NC

Posted 6/17/2016 10:46:17 AM

RALEIGH – Students interested in aviation can explore the field this June and July through summer camps across the state. The Aviation Career Education camps, made possible by grants from the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation, offer middle and high school students the chance to learn more about the aviation industry and its career opportunities. Students will explore a number of aspects of aviation, including flight theory, aviation history, aircraft construction and maintenance, and drones (unmanned aircraft systems), as well as real-world applications and principles. They will also enjoy the opportunity to fly radio-controlled aircraft and work on aircraft model design projects, take field trips to aviation industry businesses and fly in an airplane (most locations). Here is the list of the 2016 ACE Camp locations and contact information: June 19-25: Elizabeth City, ECSU, Grades 9-12. Contact: Dr. Rawat, or (252) 335-3846. June 20-25: Greensboro, SE Middle School, Grades 5-9. Contact: Steve Flippin, June 26-July 1: Elizabeth City, ECSU, High School Grades. Contact: Dr. Rawat, or (252) 335-3846. June 27-July 1: Winston-Salem, Air & Auto Center (Smith Reynolds Airport), Grades 5-9. Application available at: Contact: Steve Flippin, July 11-15: Charlotte, Carolina Aviation Museum (CAM), “Future Pilots ACE Camp,” Grades 5-7. See website for details. *NEW! Special Saturday Camps offered multiple weekends at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. See website for details. For more information about the camps, contact TC Freeman, NCDOT Aviation Safety and Education Specialist at (919) 814-0559 or  ***NCDOT*** 
View on

6/1/2016: State Reminds Drone Users to Fly Safe This Summer

State Reminds Drone Users to Fly Safe This Summer

Posted 6/1/2016 11:34:39 AM

RALEIGH - As the days grow longer and warmer, more and more drone owners are heading outdoors to enjoy their technology. North Carolina’s Division of Aviation website is a great resource to help owners learn how to operate their drone safely in North Carolina. “This is an exciting and expanding field, but safety should be a top priority,” said Division of Aviation Director Bobby Walston. “We want to help drone owners use this technology responsibly.” Recreational Use N.C. Transportation, along with the Federal Aviation Administration and model aircraft enthusiast groups, have established a number of guidelines that 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 drones that weigh more than 55 pounds; and Do not fly at night, even if your drone is equipped with lights. Non-recreational Use North Carolinians interested in flying a drone for commercial or government operations must first obtain a permit from the N.C. Division of Aviation. The permitting system, which began in January 2016, is designed to help drone owners better understand restrictions on drone use through a simple and efficient online process. That process was recently updated to improve the experience for drone owners and others with an interest in this technology. The permitting process now recognizes driver licenses from U.S. territories and Canadian provinces, in addition to all U.S. states. Users also have an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback and comments to help the Division of Aviation improve the permitting process and the drone program. Users can expect more updates in the future. “We are committed to improving this site as the industry continues to evolve,” said Walston. More than 200 North Carolinians have received drone operator permits since the system’s launch. Drones, also called unmanned aircraft systems, are subject to both state and federal laws. Current and potential drone owners can find more information about state and federal regulations on the Division of Aviation’s website. ***NCDOT***
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

View on

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 ***NCDOT***
View on

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.  
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution
View on