NC – North Carolina

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Cullasaja Falls in Macon County

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North Carolina government website just for reference.

The NCDOT has a NCDOT UAS Page.

North Carolina Legislature in case more laws were written since this book was published.

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Google Earth

Last updated on June 28, 2024

Airspace

In addition to checking the FAA UAS Facility Map or B4UFLY or SkyVector or Google Maps one should consider also FAA JO 7400.10F – Special Use Airspace which is an order, published yearly, providing a listing of all regulatory and non-regulatory special use airspace areas, as well as issued but not yet implemented amendments to those areas established by the FAA.

Special Use Airspace consists of airspace of defined dimensions identified by an area on the surface of the earth wherein activities must be confined because of their nature, or wherein limitations are imposed upon aircraft operations that are not a part of those activities, or both. The vertical limits of special use airspace are measured by designated altitude floors and ceilings expressed as flight levels or as feet above MSL. Unless otherwise specified, the word “to” (an altitude or flight level) means “to and including” (that altitude or flight level). The horizontal limits of special use airspace are measured by boundaries described by geographic coordinates or other appropriate references that clearly define their perimeter. The period of time during which a designation of special use airspace is in effect is stated in the designation. All bearings and radials in this part are true from point of origin. Unless otherwise specified, all mileages in this part are stated as statute miles.

Restricted Areas: No person may operate an aircraft within a restricted area between the designated altitudes and during the time of designation, unless they have the advance permission of:

(a) The using agency described in § 73.15; or

(b) The controlling agency described in § 73.17.

These using agencies may be the agency, organization, or military command whose activity within a restricted area necessitated the area being so designated. Upon the request of the FAA, the using agency shall execute a letter establishing procedures for joint use of a restricted area by the using agency and the controlling agency, under which the using agency would notify the controlling agency whenever the controlling agency may grant permission for transit through the restricted area in accordance with the terms of the letter. The using agency shall:

(1) Schedule activities within the restricted area;

(2) Authorize transit through, or flight within, the restricted area as feasible; and

(3) Contain within the restricted area all activities conducted therein in accordance with the purpose for which it was designated.

For the purposes of this part, the controlling agency is the FAA facility that may authorize transit through or flight within a restricted area in accordance with a joint-use letter issued under § 73.15.

Prohibited Areas: No person may operate an aircraft within a prohibited area unless authorization has been granted by the using agency. For the purpose of this subpart, the using agency is the agency, organization or military command that established the requirements for the prohibited area.

Military Operations Areas: A Military Operations Area (MOA) is airspace established outside of Class A airspace to separate/segregate certain nonhazardous military activities from IFR traffic and to identify for VFR traffic where these activities are conducted. Activities. MOA’s are established to contain certain military activities such as air combat maneuvers, air intercepts, acrobatics, etc.

Alert Areas:  Airspace which may contain a high volume of pilot training activities or an unusual type of aerial activity, neither of which is hazardous to aircraft.

Warning Areas: A non regulatory warning area is airspace of defined dimensions designated over international waters that contains activity which may be hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft. The purpose of such warning areas is to warn nonparticipating pilots of the potential danger. Activities may be hazardous.

National Security Areas: A national security area (NSA) consists of airspace of defined vertical and lateral dimensions established at locations where there is a requirement for increased security of ground facilities. The purpose of such national security areas is to request pilot cooperation by voluntarily avoiding flight through the NSA. When circumstances dictate a need for a greater level of security, flight in an NSA may be temporarily prohibited by regulation under the provisions of 14 CFR Section 99.7, Special Security Instructions. Such prohibitions will be issued by FAA Headquarters and disseminated via the US NOTAM System.

 

 

 

Crewed Aircraft in your Airspace

CREWED AIRCRAFT

Lastly, if you want to be informed about crewed aircraft flying in the vicinity of your drone operation, you can always check with apps like FlightAware or ADS-B Exchange

 

 

North Carolina § 14-7.45

§ 14-7.45.

Article 2F – Crimes by UAS.

Crimes committed by use of UAS.

All crimes committed by use of an UAS, as defined in G.S. 15A-300.1, while in flight over this State shall be governed by the laws of this State, and the question of whether the conduct by an UAS while in flight over this State constitutes a crime by the owner of the UAS shall be determined by the laws of this State.

North Carolina § 14-280.3

§ 14-280.3.

Interference with manned aircraft by UAS.

(a) Any person who willfully damages, disrupts the operation of, or otherwise interferes with a manned aircraft through use of an UAS, while the manned aircraft is taking off, landing, in flight, or otherwise in motion, is guilty of a Class H felony.

(b) The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) Manned aircraft – As defined in G.S. 15A-300.1.

(2) Unmanned aircraft system – As defined in G.S. 15A-300.1.

North Carolina § 14-401.24

§ 14-401.24.

Unlawful possession and use of UAS.

(a) It shall be a Class E felony for any person to possess or use an UA or UAS that has a weapon attached.

(b) It shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to fish or to hunt using an UAS.

(c) The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) To fish – As defined in G.S. 113-130.

(2) To hunt – As defined in G.S. 113-130.

(3) Unmanned aircraft – As defined in G.S. 15A-300.1.

(4) Unmanned aircraft system – As defined in G.S. 15A-300.1.

(5) Weapon – Those weapons specified in G.S. 14-269, 14-269.2, 14-284.1, or

14-288.8 and any other object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death when used as a weapon.

(d) This section shall not prohibit possession or usage of an UA or UAS that is authorized by federal law or regulation.

North Carolina § 14-401.25

§ 14-401.25.

Unlawful distribution of images.

It shall be a Class A1 misdemeanor to publish or disseminate, for any purpose, recorded images taken by a person or non-law enforcement entity through the use of infrared or other similar thermal imaging technology attached to an UAS, as defined in G.S. 15A-300.1, and revealing individuals, materials, or activities inside of a structure without the consent of the property owner.

North Carolina § 15A-300.1

§ 15A-300.1.

Article 16B – Use of UAS.

Restrictions on use of UAS.

(a) Definitions – The following definitions apply to this Article:

(1) Manned aircraft – An aircraft, as defined in G.S. 63-1, that is operated with a person in or on the aircraft.

(2) Repealed by Session Laws 2017-160, s. 1, effective December 1, 2017, and applicable to offenses committed on or after that date and acts occurring and causes of action arising on or after that date.

(3) Unmanned aircraft – An aircraft, as defined in G.S. 63-1, that is operated without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

(4) Unmanned aircraft system – An UA and associated elements, including communication links and components that control the UA that are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the NAS.

(b) General Prohibitions – Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person, entity, or State agency shall use an UAS to do any of the following:

(1) Conduct surveillance of:

  1. A person or a dwelling occupied by a person and that dwelling’s curtilage without the person’s consent.
  2. Private real property without the consent of the owner, easement holder, or lessee of the property.

(2) Photograph an individual, without the individual’s consent, for the purpose of publishing or otherwise publicly disseminating the photograph. This subdivision shall not apply to news gathering, newsworthy events, or events or places to which the general public is invited.

(c) Law Enforcement Exceptions – Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the use of UAS by law enforcement agencies of the State or a political subdivision of the State is not prohibited in the following instances:

(1) To counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the US Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety determines that credible intelligence indicates that such a risk exists.

(2) To conduct surveillance in an area that is within a law enforcement officer’s plain view when the officer is in a location the officer has a legal right to be.

(3) If the law enforcement agency first obtains a search warrant authorizing the use of an UAS.

(4) If the law enforcement agency possesses reasonable suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the destruction of evidence, to conduct pursuit of an escapee or suspect, or to facilitate the search for a missing person.

(5) To photograph gatherings to which the general public is invited on public or private land.

(c1) Emergency Management Exception – Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, an emergency management agency, as defined in G.S. 166A-19.3, may use UAS for all functions and activities related to emergency management, including incident command, area reconnaissance, search and rescue, preliminary damage assessment, hazard risk management, and floodplain mapping.

(d) Repealed by Session Laws 2017-160, s. 2, effective July 21, 2017.

(e) Any person who is the subject of unwarranted surveillance, or whose photograph is

taken in violation of the provisions of this section, shall have a civil cause of action against the person, entity, or State agency that conducts the surveillance or that uses an UAS to photograph for the purpose of publishing or otherwise disseminating the photograph. In lieu of actual damages, the person whose photograph is taken may elect to recover five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each photograph or video that is published or otherwise disseminated, as well as reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees and injunctive or other relief as determined by the court.

(f) Evidence obtained or collected in violation of this section is not admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution in any court of law in this State except when obtained or collected under the objectively reasonable, good-faith belief that the actions were lawful.

North Carolina § 15A-300.2

§ 15A-300.2.

Regulation of launch and recovery sites.

(a) No UAS may be launched or recovered from any State or private property without consent.

(b) A unit of local government may adopt an ordinance to regulate the use of the local government’s property for the launch or recovery of UAS.

North Carolina § 15A-300.3

§ 15A-300.3.

Use of an UAS near a confinement or correctional facility prohibited.

(a) Prohibition – No person, entity, or State agency shall use an UAS within either a horizontal distance of 500 feet, or a vertical distance of 250 feet from any local confinement facility, as defined in G.S. 153A-217, or State or federal correctional facility. For the purpose of this section, horizontal distance shall extend outward from the furthest exterior building walls, perimeter fences, and permanent fixed perimeter, or from another boundary clearly marked with posted notices. Posted notices shall be conspicuously posted not more than 100 yards apart along a marked boundary and comply with DOT guidelines.

(b) Exceptions – Unless the use of the UAS is otherwise prohibited under State or federal law, the distance restrictions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply to any of the following:

(1) A person operating an UAS with written consent from the official in responsible charge of the facility.

(2) A law enforcement officer using an UAS in accordance with G.S. 15A-300.1(c).

(3) A public utility, as defined in G.S. 62-3(23), a provider, as defined in G.S. 146-29.2(a)(6), or a commercial entity, provided that the public utility, provider, or commercial entity complies with all of the following:

  1. The UAS must not be used within either a horizontal distance of 150 feet, or within a vertical distance of 150 feet from any local confinement facility or State or federal correctional facility.
  2. Notifies the official in responsible charge of the facility at least 24 hours prior to operating the UAS. A commercial entity operating in compliance with G.S.15A-300.1 and pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision is exempt from the 24-hour notice requirement.
  3. Uses the UAS for the purpose of inspecting public utility or provider transmission lines, equipment, or communication infrastructure or for another purpose directly related to the business of the public utility, provider, or commercial entity.
  4. Uses the UAS for commercial purposes pursuant to and in compliance with (i) FAA regulations, authorizations, or exemptions and (ii) Article 10 of Chapter 63 of the General Statutes.
  5. The person operating the UAS does not physically enter the prohibited space without an escort from the facility.

(4) An emergency management agency, as defined in G.S.166A-19.3, emergency medical services personnel, firefighters, and law enforcement officers, when using an UAS in response to an emergency.

(c) Penalty – The following penalties apply for violations of this section:

(1) A person who uses an UAS (i) in violation of subsection (a) of this section or (ii) pursuant to an exception in subsection (b) of this section and who delivers, or attempts to deliver, a weapon to a local confinement facility or State or federal correctional facility is guilty of a Class H felony, which shall include a fine of one thousand five hundred

dollars ($1,500). For purposes of this subdivision, the term “weapon” is as

defined in G.S. 14-401.24(c).

(2) A person who uses an UAS (i) in violation of subsection (a) of this section or (ii) pursuant to an exception in subsection (b) of this section and who delivers, or attempts to deliver, contraband to a local confinement facility or State or federal correctional facility is guilty of a Class I felony, which shall include a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000). For purposes of this subdivision, the term “contraband” includes controlled substances, as defined in G.S. 90-87, cigarettes, alcohol, and communication devices, but does not include weapons.

(3) A person who uses an UAS in violation of subsection (a) of this section for any other purpose is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, which shall include a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00).

(d) Seizure, Forfeiture, and Disposition of Seized Property – A law enforcement agency may seize an UAS and any attached property, weapons, and contraband used in violation of this section. An UAS used in violation of this section and seized by a law enforcement agency is subject to forfeiture and disposition pursuant to G.S. 18B-504. An innocent owner or holder of a security interest applying to the court for release of the UAS, in accordance with G.S. 18B-504(h), shall also provide proof of ownership or security interest and written certification that the UAS will not be returned to the person who was charged with the violation of subsection (a) of this section. The court shall forfeit and dispose of any other property, weapons, or contraband seized by a law enforcement agency in connection with a violation of this section pursuant to G.S.18B-504, 14-269.1, 90-112, or any combination thereof.

North Carolina § 63-74.5

§ 63-74.5.

Division of Aviation annual report.

Beginning October 1, 2021, and annually thereafter, the Division of Aviation shall submit to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee and the Fiscal Research Division a report containing the following information from the prior fiscal year:

(1) A list of all public use airports within the State, their municipality and county, status as commercial services or general aviation, airport code, and the following corresponding information:

  1. Total amount of funds allocated to each airport subtotaling federal, Commercial Services, State Aid to Airports, Special Projects, Economic Development, and State Transportation Improvement Program dollars and total number of projects receiving allocations.
  2. Total amount of funds disbursed to each airport subtotaling federal, Commercial Services, State Aid to Airports, Special Projects, Economic Development, and State Transportation Improvement Program dollars and total number of projects receiving disbursements.
  3. Total amount of unallocated State appropriations for Commercial Services, State Aid to Airports, Special Projects, and Economic Development.

(2) Summary of activities related to UAS, including total number of drones owned subtotaled by units of the DOT and by other State agencies, purposes, and uses of drones in each unit and agency, a list describing each private sector partnership to which the Division of Aviation is a party, and any other activities of this unit.

(3) Total number of trips and flight hours by each manned aircraft owned by the DOT, subtotaled by agency, fees charged to each agency, and total cost of providing services to each agency.

(4)  Summary of activities related to Safety and Education, including total expenditures, number and description of programs, and number of participants.

North Carolina § 63-94

§ 63-94.

Article 10 – Operation of UAS.

Applicability of Article.

(a) Applicability – This Article does not apply to model aircraft, as defined in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Model aircraft – An aircraft, as defined in G.S. 63-1, that is mechanically driven or launched into flight and that meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Is flown solely for hobby or recreational purposes.

(2) Is not used for payment, consideration, gratuity, or benefit, directly or indirectly charged, demanded, received, or collected, by any person for the use of the aircraft or any photographic or video image produced by the aircraft.

North Carolina § 63-95

§ 63-95.

Article 10 – Operation of UAS.

Training required for operation of UAS.

(a) As used in this Article, the term “Division” means the Division of Aviation of the DOT.

(b) The Division shall develop a knowledge test for operating an UAS that complies with all applicable State and federal regulations and shall provide for administration of the test. The test shall ensure that the operator of an UAS is knowledgeable of the State statutes and regulations regarding the operation of UAS. The Division may permit a person, including an agency of this State, an agency of a political subdivision of this State, an employer, or a private training facility, to administer the test developed pursuant to this subsection, provided the test is the same as that administered by the Division and complies with all applicable State and federal regulations.

(c) No agent or agency of the State, or agent or agency of a political subdivision of the State, may operate an UAS within the State without completion of the test set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

REPEALED

This Drone Knowledge Test and Permit was repealed June 27, 2024

House Bill 198, titled DOT Legislative Changes, was first introduced in February of 2023 but was not sent to the Governor’s desk until May of 2024.

Due to an issue regarding billboards, right-of-ways, and the cutting of certain trees, Gov. Cooper vetoed the bill.

The House and Senate both overrode Gov. Cooper’s veto, thus codifying the bill into law on June 27th, 2024.

The new law repeals Article 10 of Chapter 63 of the state’s General Statutes, which includes the requirements for a UAS knowledge test and a NC UAS Permit for commercial drone operators.

The repeal will become effective on December 1, 2024.

 

North Carolina § 63-96

§ 63-96.

Permit required for commercial operation of UAS.

(a) No person shall operate an UAS, as defined in G.S. 15A-300.1, in this State for commercial purposes unless the person is in possession of a permit issued by the Division valid for the UAS being operated. Application for the permit shall be made in the manner provided by the Division. Unless suspended or revoked, the permit shall be effective for a period to be established by the Division not exceeding eight years.

(b) No person shall be issued a permit under this section unless all of the following apply:

(1) The person is at least the minimum age required by federal regulation for operation of an UAS.

(2) The person possesses a valid government-issued photographic identification acceptable to the FAA for issuing authorization to operate an UAS.

(3) The person has passed the knowledge test for operating an UAS as prescribed in G.S. 63-95(b).

(4) The person has satisfied all other applicable requirements of this Article or federal regulation.

(c) A permit to operate an UAS for commercial purposes shall not be issued to a person while the person’s license or permit to operate an UAS is suspended, revoked, or cancelled in any state.

(d) The Division shall develop and administer a program that complies with all applicable federal regulations to issue permits to operators of UAS for commercial purposes, including a fee structure for permits. Criteria and requirements established under the subdivisions set forth in this subsection shall be no more restrictive than the rules or regulations adopted by the FAA setting forth the criteria and requirements under which a person may operate an UAS for commercial purposes. The program must include the following components:

(1) A system for classifying UAS based on characteristics determined to be appropriate by the Division.

(2) Repealed by Session Laws 2017-160, s. 4, effective July 21, 2017.

(3) A permit application process, which shall include a requirement that the Division provide notice to an applicant of the Division’s decision on issuance of a permit no later than 10 days from the date the Division receives the applicant’s application.

(4) Technical guidance for complying with program requirements.

(5) Criteria under which the Division may suspend or revoke a permit.

(6) Criteria under which the Division may waive permitting requirements for applicants currently holding a valid license or permit to operate UAS issued by another state or territory of the US, the District of Columbia, or the US.

(7) A designation of the geographic area within which a permittee shall be authorized to operate an UAS.

(8) Requirements pertaining to the collection, use, and retention of data by permittees obtained through the operation of UAS, to be established in consultation with the State Chief Information Officer.

(9) Requirements for the marking of each UAS operated pursuant to a permit issued under this section sufficient to allow identification of the owner of the system and the person issued a permit to operate it.

(10) A system for providing agencies that conduct other operations within regulated airspace with the identity and contact information of permittees and the geographic areas within which the permittee is authorized to operate an UAS.

(e) A person who operates an UAS for commercial purposes other than as authorized under this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(f) Subject to the limitations set forth in subsection (d) of this section, the Division may issue rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this section.

North Carolina § 113-295

§ 113-295.

Unlawful harassment of persons taking wildlife resources.

(a) It is unlawful for a person to interfere intentionally with the lawful taking of wildlife resources or to drive, harass, or intentionally disturb any wildlife resources for the purpose of disrupting the lawful taking of wildlife resources. It is unlawful to take or abuse property, equipment, or hunting dogs that are being used for the lawful taking of wildlife resources. This subsection does not apply to a person who incidentally interferes with the taking of wildlife resources while using the land for other lawful activity such as agriculture, mining, or recreation. This subsection also does not apply to activity by a person on land he owns or leases.

Violation of this subsection is a Class 2 misdemeanor for a first conviction and a Class 1 misdemeanor for a second or subsequent conviction.

(a1) It is unlawful to use an UAS, as defined in G.S. 15A-300.1, to violate subsection (a) of this section. Violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(a2) It is unlawful for a person to place bait for the purpose of intentionally interfering with the lawful taking of wildlife. Violation of this subsection is a Class 2 misdemeanor for a first conviction and a Class 1 misdemeanor for a second or subsequent conviction.

(b) The Wildlife Resources Commission may, either before or after the institution of any other action or proceeding authorized by this section, institute a civil action for injunctive relief to restrain a violation or threatened violation of subsection (a) of this section pursuant to G.S. 113-131. The action shall be brought in the superior court of the county in which the violation or threatened violation is occurring or about to occur and shall be in the name of the State upon the relation of the Wildlife Resources Commission. The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to this subsection may, in its discretion, award costs of litigation including reasonable attorney and expert-witness fees to any party.

Chapel Hill Municipal Code

Chapel Hill Municipal Code

Sec. 11-80 – Regulation of SUAS.

Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 107, also known as the SUAS Rule, is hereby adopted, and incorporated herein as an Ordinance of the Town of Chapel Hill for the purpose of prescribing regulations governing conditions hazardous to public safety within the Town created by SUAS.

Sec. 11-81 – Penalty for violation of regulations of SUAS.

The violation of any provision of section 11-80 of the Town Code shall constitute a misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) or imprisonment not exceeding thirty (30) days, as provided by G.S. 14-4.

Fletcher Code Section 92

Fletcher Code Section 92

92.17 RULES AND REGULATIONS.

(A) The following shall be the rules and regulations of all of the recreational facilities of the town and shall be strictly enforced.

(B) It shall be unlawful for any person in any park, playground, ballfield, tennis court or any other recreational facilities thereof, owned and controlled by the town, to disregard the following:

(23) Flying of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”) on or above park property is prohibited.  Approval may only be granted by the Parks and Recreation Department and must be in accordance with North Carolina Department of Transportation regulations, North Carolina General Statutes and Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.

Gaston County Parks and Recreation Rules

Gaston County Parks and Rec

Section II. Definitions.

In the interpretation of this and succeeding Department regulations or ordinances, the following terms unless otherwise defined therein, shall mean the following:

Department means Gaston County Parks and Recreation Department.

Foot path or trail means any path or trail maintained for pedestrians.

Park or parks shall be deemed to include all aspects of any county park.

Pedestrian means a person on foot.

Permit means any written license issued by or under authority of the department, permitting the performance of a specified act or acts on parks property.

Person means any natural person, corporation, company, association, joint stock association, firm, or partnership.

Vehicle means any form of conveyance of any kind or nature (except baby carriages and non-motorized bicycles or tricycles) including without limitation, motor vehicles, trailers of all types, campers, sleds, sleighs, pushcarts, or modes of transportation propelled solely by means of human or animal muscular power, including without limitation, horse drawn carriages.

Section IX. Aviation.

It shall be unlawful for any person within the confines of the park to voluntarily launch, take off, land, or cause to descend or take off any airplane, flying machine, balloon, parachute, or other apparatus of aviation, except by special permit. Voluntarily shall mean any action other than a forced landing. This section shall also apply to radio-controlled airplanes, helicopters, rockets, etc. in all parks with the exception of the special use facility at Lewis Brooks Airfield, located on Abel Road in Bessemer City, NC.

Kannapolis City Code Section 12-31

Kannapolis City Code Section 12-31

Sec. 12-31 – Aviation.

It shall be unlawful for any person within the confines of any park to voluntarily take off, land, or cause to descend or take off any airplane, flying machine, balloon, parachute, or other apparatus of aviation, except as expressly permitted by the city manager. Voluntarily shall mean any action other than a forced landing. This section shall also apply to radio-controlled airplanes, helicopters, rockets, drones, and other airborne objects. Kite flying is prohibited at Safrit Park and on the Bakers Creek Park ballfield.

Marvin Code Section 97

Marvin Code Section 97

97.07 PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.

(I) Model aircraft and unmanned aircraft on village property.

(1) Launch and/or recovery of model aircraft or unmanned aircraft is prohibited on all village-owned property without specific written permission from the Village Administrator or his/her designee, who may allow it for governmental purposes to include, but not be limited to, photography, so long as the operation of the model aircraft or unmanned aircraft is done in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration and North Carolina General Statute.

(2) For the purposes of this section, MODEL AIRCRAFT is defined as an aircraft (any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used or designed for navigation of or flight in the air), that is mechanically driven or launched into flight and that meets all of the following requirements:

(a) Is flown solely for hobby or recreational purposes.

(b) Is not used for payment, consideration, gratuity, or benefit, directly or indirectly charged, demanded, received, or collected, by any person for the use of the aircraft or any photographic or video image produced by the aircraft.

(3) For the purposes of this section, UNMANNED AIRCRAFT is defined as an aircraft (any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used or designed for navigation of or flight in the air), that is operated without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft and that does not meet the definition of model aircraft.

Mills River Code Section 90

Mills River Code Section 90

90.023 REMOTE CONTROL TOYS OR SELF-PROPELLED DEVICES.

The use of remote control or self-propelled devices such as cars, boats, airplanes, drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAV) or rockets are prohibited within any park unless participating in a special event or activity approved by the Town Manager or designated official.

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation Rules

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation

Park visitors are prohibited from ascending or taking off within or upon any state park area or state park water surface, of any airplane, flying machine (including drones, unmanned aircrafts, and quadcopters), balloon, parachute, glider, hang glider (except with permit at Jockey’s Ridge State Park), or other apparatus for aviation.

In some limited circumstances, these machines may be operated after obtaining a Special Activity Permit from the state park.

Additionally, state law prohibits people from launching or recovering any unmanned aircraft systems from state property without consent.

Raleigh Parks and Recreation UAS Rules

Raleigh Parks and Rec UAS Rules

The City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources department recognizes that operating unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or drones is a popular recreational activity. The official Raleigh Parks Drone Use Policy serves as a resource to provide the information needed for recreational drone flying in Raleigh parks.

The parks that have been approved for UAS or drone use are listed below with their hours, designated approved locations, and contact information.

Know Before You Go

As a recreational UAS pilot, you must comply with all flight rules as established by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Recreational users may fly in Raleigh Parks properties if the following conditions are met:

UAS (Drones) weighing less than 400 grams may take off and land in any Raleigh Park except for nature preserves, lakes, wetland centers, or cemeteries. UAS (Drones) weighing more than 400 grams should take off and land from the park locations listed below.

Before flying your drone, be sure to check the area on the B4UFLY Map. Once you enter the location address, click on the map to identify all possible air traffic restrictions including airport/heliports you may need to contact before flight.

Model Rocketry

  • Observe and abide by the National Association of Rocketry Safety Code and Safety Zone Requirements;
  • Not launch in unsafe weather conditions or when wind speeds are greater than 20 miles per hour;
  • Ensure launch sites must have a diameter of at least 400 feet free of any obstructions, including trees, structures, play equipment and should be level;
  • Operate a safe distance from park users;
  • Utilize single rocket engines size “A” or “B”; and,
  • Be responsible for disposing of all trash associated with the activity.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for UAS (Drones) in the Raleigh Parks System, please contact Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources at 919-996-3285.

Sites Approved for 400 Grams

Baileywick Park

9501 Baileywick Road

Location in Park: Open space

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Eastgate Park

4200 Quail Hollow Drive

Location in Park: Multipurpose field

Hours: Noon to dusk

Spring Forest Park

4203 Spring Forest Road

Location in Park: Multipurpose field

Hours: Noon to dusk

Marsh Creek Park

3050 N. New Hope Road

Location in Park: Multipurpose field

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Dorothea Dix Park

2105 Umstead Drive

Location in Park: Big field only

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Southgate Park

1801 Proctor Road

Location in Park: Multipurpose field

Hours: Noon to dusk

Sugar Mountain Code Section 90

Sugar Mountain Code Section 90

90.45 UAS.

(A) Model aircraft and UA on village property. Launch, recovery, or operation of model aircraft or UA is prohibited on all village-owned property without specific written permission from the Village Manager or designee, who may allow it for governmental purposes to include, but not be limited to photography, so long as the operation of the model aircraft or UA is done in accordance with the requirements of the FAA and state general statutes.

(B) Use of model aircraft and US in public vehicular areas and common areas. No model aircraft or UA shall be launched, recovered, or operated upon any public vehicular area, common area for town homes, apartments, or condominiums, nor shall any such model aircraft or UA be launched, recovered, or operated upon any multi-family property within the jurisdiction.

(C) Definitions. For the purpose of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

MODEL AIRCRAFT. An aircraft (any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used, or designed for navigation of or flight in the air), that is mechanically driven or launched into flight and that meets all of the following requirements:

(a) Is flown solely for hobby or recreational purposes; and

(b) Is not used for payment, consideration, gratuity, or benefit, directly or indirectly charged, demanded, received, or collected, by any person for the use of the aircraft or any photographic or video image produced by the aircraft.

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT. An aircraft (any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used, or designed for navigation of or flight in the air), that is operated without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft and that does not meet the definition of model aircraft.

Penalty, see § 10.99

Town of Beech Mountain Code § 94.28

Town of Beech Mountain Code § 94.28

Prohibited Activities.

(A) Model aircraft and UA on town property. Launch, recovery or operation of model aircraft or UA is prohibited on all town-owned property without specific written permission from the Town Manager or designee, who may allow it for governmental purposes to include, but not be limited to photography, so long as the operation of the model aircraft or UA is done in accordance with the requirements of the FAA and North Carolina General Statutes.

(B) Use of model aircraft and UA in public vehicular areas and common areas. No model aircraft or UA shall be launched, recovered, or operated upon any public vehicular area, common area for town homes, apartments, or condominiums, nor shall any such model aircraft or UA be launched, recovered, or operated upon any multi-family property within the jurisdiction.

(C) Definition. The following terms shall be defined as written for this section unless context requires or indicates a different meaning.

Model Aircraft – An aircraft (any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used or designed for navigation of or flight in the air), that is mechanically driven or launched into flight and that meets all of the following requirements:

(a) Is flown solely for hobby or recreational purposes.

(b) Is not used for payment, consideration, gratuity, or benefit, directly or indirectly charged, demanded, received, or collected, by any person for the use of the aircraft or any photographic or video image produced by the aircraft.

Unmanned Aircraft – An aircraft (any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented, used or designed for navigation of or flight in the air), that is operated without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft and that does not meet the definition of model aircraft.

(D) Prior to the operation of any model aircraft or UA within the corporate limits of the Town of Beech Mountain, an individual shall first obtain a permit for such operation from the Town Manager or their designee upon a form approved by the Town Manager. Any person operating a model aircraft or UA pursuant to a permit issued under this section must still comply with all state and Federal regulations of such aircraft and may be revoked by the Town Manager upon good cause. A permit issued under this section may be issued for a period up to six months.

(E) Enforcement of this section.

(1) Violation of this section shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor; and

(2) Violation of this section shall otherwise be enforceable in accordance with the provisions set forth in Chapter 11, § 11.01.

Town of Nags Head Section 26-14

Town of Nags Head Section 26-14

Sec. 26-14 – UAS.

(a) Definitions. The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this section 26-14, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning.

“Aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

“Small unmanned aircraft” means an UA weighing less than 55 pounds (all-up take-off weight).

“Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft. This definition includes devices commonly referred to as drones, remote controlled aircraft, and model aircraft.

“Unmanned aircraft system” means an UA and associated elements (including communication links and the components that control the UA) that are required for the operator/PIC to operate the aircraft safely and efficiently.

(b) This section 26-14 applies to any outdoor use of SUA with a takeoff weight of over 250 grams (0.55 pounds) in the Town of Nags Head.

(c) Operation above or near the Outer Banks Hospital. Because the Outer Banks Hospital operates a helipad, the use of UA is prohibited above or near the Outer Banks Hospital, without prior notification to the Outer Banks Hospital. Section 280.3 of the North Carolina General Statutes also makes it a criminal offense in certain situations where the use of an UAS interferes with a manned aircraft while the manned aircraft is taking off, landing, in flight, or otherwise in motion.

(d) General operation prohibitions for SUA.

(1) UA and UAS operated within the town shall be operated and registered in accordance with all statutes, rules, and regulations of the FAA and the State of North Carolina.

(2) Launching and recovering SUA on town property is prohibited without prior written approval from the town manager. Requests for approval must include proof of required state and federal registrations and/or permits, as appropriate. When considering such requests, the town manager may consider, without limitation, the potential benefits and/or risks to the town, and the safety and welfare of the public, and/or the proposed operator from the proposed use of the SUA on or over public property.

(3) Operation of SUA shall not interfere with a public safety incident.

(4) SUA that carry pyrotechnic devices that explode, burn, or produce smoke and SUA that propel a projectile or drop objects that pose a safety risk are prohibited.

(5) Using a SUA for racing, aerobatics, or “3-D” purposes is prohibited, unless at an event permitted by the town.

(e) Remedies. Violations of this section 26-14 shall be subject to the penalties described in town Code subsection 1-6(b).

(f) Exceptions. The town manager may grant exceptions to this section 26-14 for limited duration special events or other reasons in the general public interest upon presentation of a written request outlining the reasons for the exception and providing a plan for addressing safety issues associated with the request. When considering such requests, the town manager may consider, without limitation, the potential benefits and/or risks to the town, the public, and/or the proposed operator from the use of the UA for the proposed exception.

(g) To the extent that applicable authority of these US or the State of North Carolina adopts rules or regulations that conflict with this section 26-14, the said rules or regulations shall control.

Wilkesboro Code Section 98

Wilkesboro Code Section 98

98.01 FINDINGS.

The Committee on Unmanned Aircrafts systems of the Legislative Research Commission of the North Carolina General Assembly has found that UAS have the potential to be a valuable tool in many areas, including law enforcement, public safety, agriculture, and business. Additionally, the development and manufacture of UAS could prospectively bring industry and jobs to the state. The Committee also recognizes the possibility for inappropriate and criminal usage of UAS and finds that there should be some guidance and regulation governing the lawful operation of UAS.

98.02 DEFINITIONS.

As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply, unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

MODEL AIRCRAFT. An unmanned aircraft, limited to not more than ten pounds, flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft for recreational and hobby purposes only.

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT. An aircraft that is operated without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM. An unmanned aircraft and associated elements, including communication links and components that control the unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

98.03 RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS.

(A) No person shall operate an UAS on the Wilkes Community College campus or any off-site campgrounds for the duration of the MerleFest Music Festival without the express and written consent of the town. This restriction shall not apply to the operations of a model aircraft as defined in § 98.02.

(B) From time to time, the Town Council may by resolution restrict operations of unmanned aircraft systems within the corporate limits.

 

University Drone Policies

Appalachian State University

Duke University

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

North Carolina Central University

North Carolina State University

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Western Carolina University

Note: This list is just a sample… many more could be added.

 

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

NC DOT AAM

2023 – AeroX: Pioneering Advanced Air Mobility in North Carolina

 

Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of filming a promotional video at Cullasaja Falls in Macon County, pictured above.

They need you to mention any state laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in, and whether or not you need an airspace authorization, with or without LAANC capability.

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do the state drone laws implicate the First Amendment? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 3

Do the state drone laws implicate the Fourth Amendment? Or involve law enforcement officers obtaining warrants? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 4

Do the state drone laws contain a preemption clause? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Does the state have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 6

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.

 

 

 

License

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Drones Across the World Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Nilsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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