North Carolina DOT Requires Permit for Commercial, Government Drones

Posted by Betsy Lillian on January 18, 2016 No Comments

At the direction of the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has launched a permitting system for commercial and government unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operators in the state.

All government and commercial UAS operators must now obtain a permit from the NCDOT’s division of aviation. According to the NCDOT, the system is designed to help UAS owners better understand restrictions on the use of their technology through a simple and efficient online process.

To obtain a permit, users must first pass the North Carolina “UAS Operators Knowledge Test.” A guide is available to help users study.

In addition to passing the knowledge test, users must meet certain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements to obtain a commercial or government operator permit in North Carolina. The full requirements are available on the Division of Aviation website, here.

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 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, says the NCDOT, which adds that all UAS operators should keep in mind that the state has laws governing drone use and that operators are required to register with the FAA.

“This permitting process will help educate UAS owners,” explains N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “We want to encourage safe and responsible drone operations in North Carolina.”

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