North Carolina enters the Drone Game... Restrictions Apply but Instructions Included

As many of you have probably guessed, when the FAA finally took note of all the drones in the sky and said "Hey! I can regulate that!" North Carolina also stood up and said "I see your regulations, FAA, and raise you these!"  You may not realize it, but North Carolina is also in the drone game and has its own body of laws restricting commercial use of drones.  Put more simply:  if you are using a drone for a commercial purpose within the state of North Carolina, you not only have the FAA regulations to worry about but you also have a layer of state regulations.  (States' rights at its finest). 

North Carolina says __________ about Drones.

North Carolina actually has quite a bit to say about drones.  Far too much to review in a single blog post but here are the highlights:

  • North Carolina drones are regulated by the NCDOT's Division of Aviation.
  • North Carolina and the FAA have the same definition of "commercial use" when applied to use of drones. 
  • North Carolina commercial drone operators must obtain a North Carolina permit. (Application can be found here)
  • In order to lawfully use a drone in North Carolina for a commercial purpose, the operator must first obtain a Section 333 Exemption through the FAA (we reviewed this exemption here and here).
  • North Carolina drone operators must pass an NCDOT Knowledge Test. (Here is an NCODT study guide!)
  • North Carolina drone operators must have a valid drivers license and be at least 17 years old.
  • North Carolina drone operators must hold a valid Airman Certificate through the FAA or have a sponsor with a valid Airman Certificate.  
  • All drone users need to register their drone with the FAA (We reviewed the registration requirement here).
  • Do not operate a drone within a 5-mile radius of an airport

Got all that? Of course not.  Luckily we made a study guide for drone use in North Carolina, which you can conveniently find here