This Week at NCDOT: Drone Permits and Future Engineers

by April 21, 2017


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.

Drone Permits Reach 1,000

The Division of Aviation has issued 1,000 drone permits to government and commercial operators in North Carolina.

There are more than 20,000 drones, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems, registered in North Carolina, but permits are required only for government and business operators.

“You’re placing objects in the air that could potentially be harmful to a manned aircraft operating,” said Bobby Walston, Aviation Director. “There are some applicable rules and guidelines that FAA has placed out, but also, North Carolina has statutes or laws in place that affect even the hobbyist.”

To get a permit, operators must:

  • Have a valid airman certificate or a sponsor with a valid airman certificate
  • Have a valid driver license
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Pass the UAS Knowledge Test
  • Register their drone with the Federal Aviation Administration

Recreational operators must register their drone with the FAA. Although they are not required to obtain a permit from the state, NCDOT encourages recreational operators to become familiar with drone regulations and take the knowledge test.

Learn more about drones on the Division of Aviation website.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering

The Transportation Department and Women’s Transportation Seminar hosted the tenth annual “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” on April 18.

Thirty Triangle area high school students gathered for a full day of experiments, group activities and discussions with NCDOT engineers at the North Carolina Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh.

Along with the importance of math and science, NCDOT engineers shared the responsibilities and necessary skills for college and their careers.

With only 10 percent of U.S. engineers being women, the “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” program not only promotes engineering careers, but also diversity in transportation and engineering.


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