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NCDOT Encourages Prioritizing Drone Safety

RALEIGH – For National Drone Safety Day tomorrow, the N.C. Department of Transportation wants to remind drone operators that there is only one right way to fly a drone: Safely.

Without proper training and adherence to safe flying guidelines, unmanned aircraft systems can be dangerous.

NCDOT utilizes drones for multiple tasks ranging from bridge condition assessments to emergency response surveys, which improve not only operational efficiency, but also safety for our staff.

“Drones are innovative tools that can keep our teams safe when performing mission-critical tasks, from surveying disaster scenes to inspecting project sites and hard-to-reach infrastructure, if operators follow basic safety protocols when using them," said Becca Gallas, interim director of the NCDOT Division of Aviation.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), more than 15,000 recreational drones and more than 9,500 commercial drones are registered in North Carolina. Both numbers are growing.

It is imperative that every operator considers safety first, not only for National Drone Safety Day, but each time their aircraft takes to the skies. Every owner of a drone is encouraged to:

Additionally, NCDOT's Division of Aviation offers the following guidelines to help pilots ensure they're flying safely and legally:

  • Always fly no more than 400 feet above ground level.
  • Always keep the drone within your visual line of sight.
  • Respect people's privacy.
  • Avoid flying over events or crowds; never fly directly over people.
  • Never fly near or above prisons or airports.
  • Don't fly at night without proper training and equipment.​


4/28/2023 2:52 PM