News Releases

2/17/2017: 2017 NC Aviation Art Contest Winners Announced

2017 NC Aviation Art Contest Winners Announced

Posted 2/17/2017 4:32:59 PM

RALEIGH – Nine students from communities throughout North Carolina are being recognized for their original artwork submitted to the 2017 Aviation Art Contest. More than a thousand students participated in this year’s competition, sponsored by the N.C. Department of Transportation's Division of Aviation. “This contest gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their creativity while learning more about aviation and aeronautics in the state,” said Division of Aviation Director Bobby Walston. “We are pleased to see a record number of participants.” The state competition drew 1,007 entries from students representing 144 hometowns and 99 schools. In the last three years, nearly 2,200 students have submitted artwork to the division. The annual contest offers all children who live in or attend school in North Carolina the chance to explore different aspects of aviation. This year, participants were asked to create original artworks inspired by the theme "Beyond the Clouds." Entries are divided into three age groups. The top three entries in each age group advance to National Association of State Aviation Officials in Washington, DC, as part of the national and international contest.  Click here to view a video of this year’s winning entries or here for a photo gallery. The top finishers in each category, with their schools, hometowns and ages are: JUNIOR First Place: Akshara Ananth, Providence Spring Elementary, Charlotte; age 9 Second Place: Abirami Govindarajan, Providence Spring Elementary, Charlotte; age 10 Third Place: Avni Choudepally, Cedar Fork Elementary, Morrisville; age 7 INTERMEDIATE  First Place: Anthony Oman, Salem Middle, Cary; age 14 Second Place: Alyssa Housden, Anne Chesnutt Middle, Fayetteville; age 14 Third Place: Bobby Carter, Crestdale Middle, Charlotte; age 14 SENIOR First Place: Emma Kerns, Liberty Preparatory Christian Academy, Sherrills Ford; age 17 Second Place: Cameron Fitz, Green Hope High, Cary; age 17 Third Place: Ashley Inman, Lee County High, Sanford; age 15 Visit the Aviation Art Contest website for information about the competition.
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2/1/2017: NCDOT Works to Integrate Drones in Emergency Response

NCDOT Works to Integrate Drones in Emergency Response

Posted 2/1/2017 6:26:04 AM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is exploring how to best implement unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, into future disaster relief efforts. The department’s Division of Aviation recently collaborated with nearly 50 state and local government agencies and industry researchers for a three-day workshop, which included interactive demonstrations of drone operations in simulated scenarios.   “Our goal is to ensure that drones flying within North Carolina are flown safely and responsibly,” said Aviation Division Director Bobby Walston. “A better understanding of drone capabilities and evolving regulations will give emergency management professionals tools to safely use this technology during disasters and routine operations.” Without proper coordination, drone operators can unintentionally interfere with emergency management operations. A goal of the exercise was to organize communications with the public, to ensure hobbyist drones do not hinder disaster relief efforts. The workshop was organized by the NCDOT Division of Aviation and North Carolina State University’s Next Generation Air Transportation Consortium, within the school’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education. The team is leading research and testing efforts to safely integrate drones into the National Airspace System.  The Federal Aviation Administration has exclusive authority over the use of airspace in the United States, including the airspace used by drones. NCDOT has authority to implement and manage regulations that pertain to state laws concerning operations within North Carolina. North Carolina has more than 15,000 registered drones, which is almost double the number of registered manned aircraft. A report on best practices for natural disaster response will be available in March.
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12/6/2016: Don’t Let Your Drone Land You on the Naughty List this Holiday Season

Don’t Let Your Drone Land You on the Naughty List this Holiday Season

Posted 12/6/2016 4:27:31 PM

RALEIGH – One of the gifts most likely to top wish lists for kids and adults alike this holiday season is a drone. Retailers estimate as many as 1.2 million unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, will be sold by the end of December, a 112 percent increase over last year. The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to help recreational drone operators stay off the naughty list with a set of safety tips. “Flying a drone is thrilling and fun, but it can also be dangerous if not used responsibly,” Aviation Division Director Bobby Walston said. “These guidelines help ensure the safety of people in the air and on the ground while enjoying this activity.” State officials and industry groups have established a number of safety guidelines for recreational drone use that should be followed before taking to the skies: 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. Do not fly at night, even if your drone is equipped with lights. Do take lessons before flying. Most people who receive a drone this holiday season will use it solely for recreational purposes. The Federal Aviation Administration requires drone owners to register their drone at online at registermyuas.faa.gov. Failure to register carries civil and criminal penalties. Drone operators should keep in mind that North Carolina has laws governing drone use, whether it be for recreational, commercial or government purposes. Current and potential drone owners can find more information about state and federal drone regulations on the Division of Aviation’s website at ncdot.gov/aviation/uas.
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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***
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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, ksrawat@ecsu.edu or (252) 335-3846. June 20-25: Greensboro, SE Middle School, Grades 5-9. Contact: Steve Flippin, flipaero@gmail.com. June 26-July 1: Elizabeth City, ECSU, High School Grades. Contact: Dr. Rawat, ksrawat@ecsu.edu or (252) 335-3846. June 27-July 1: Winston-Salem, Air & Auto Center (Smith Reynolds Airport), Grades 5-9. Application available at: AirandAuto.org. Contact: Steve Flippin, flipaero@gmail.com. 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 tfreeman@ncdot.gov.  ***NCDOT*** 
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