Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in NCDOT Now, the department's weekly newscast.
With summer officially here, more and more drone operators are heading outdoors to enjoy the new technology. An estimated 19,000 North Carolinians own and operate drones. The North Carolina Department of Transportation, along with the Federal Aviation Administration, have established several safety guidelines that will ensure a fund and safe experience:
Always fly below an altitude of 400 feet and fly within your direct line of sight;
Do not fly within five miles of an airport;
Never fly near emergency response efforts, stadiums, public events or other aircraft;
Do not fly drones that weigh more than 55 pounds; and
Flying drones at night is not recommended, even if it is equipped with lights.
"We want to remember to operate our drones in a safe manner," said Basil Yap, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Manager. "We want to think about protecting people's safety as well as their privacy."
More information about drone operation and safety is on the NCDOT website.
Growth at N.C. Ports
The North Carolina State Ports Authority Port of Wilmington has doubled its container services in 2017, and is set for unprecedented growth during the new fiscal year, which began July 1.
The inaugural port call of the Zim Shanghai in June marked the fourth new container service activated at the Port of Wilmington in the last two months. The Zim service will support the apparel, furniture and hardware industries throughout North Carolina.
In preparation for the expected growth, North Carolina ports is adding two new container cranes and expanding its container yard.
Port activities contribute to 76,000 jobs and $700 million each year to the state's economy.
More information is on the North Carolina Ports website.
There were two special acknowledgements this week. Former General Services Regional Administrator Torre Jessup was sworn-in as Commissioner for the Division of Motor Vehicles. And, former Greenville Mayor Alan Thomas was named Director of the Global TransPark in Kinston.