Can I fly my drone at or near the Moore County Airport?
Here is what you need to know before flying your Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), more commonly referred to as a drone near the Moore County Airport.
Update!! FAA’s New Drone Rules Now In Effect!
Here is a link to the press release posted on Monday 29 August 2016: The FAA’s New Drone Rules Are Effective Today
Here is a link to the press release posted on Tuesday 21 June 2016: https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=20515
The FAA has also published a new Part 107 that contains detailed information regarding commercial UAV operations. In addition they have provided a summary document that outlines the significant aspects of Part 107 in an easier to read format. Links to both documents as well as a Part 107 Fact Sheet are below.
There are essentially three categories of drone or UAV operations, governmental, commercial and recreational/hobby. Governmental and commercial operations have more stringent requirements than the recreational or hobby use of drones or model aircraft.
- Government UAV operations require a Certificate of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and more information about these requirements can be found at http://www.faa.gov/uas/public_operations .
- Commercial UAV operations also have some specific FAA and State of North Carolina requirements and they can be found at http://www.faa.gov/uas/civil_operations and http://www.ncdot.gov/aviation/uas/operators .
- Model aircraft operations are for hobby or recreational purposes only.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has some very specific requirements for UAV or drone operators including the need to register your drone with the FAA. In addition they have a link to a Know Before you Fly educational campaign that provides some very good information regarding the various types of drone operations and where they are permitted. More information can be found on the FAA UAS page at http://www.faa.gov/uas and also on the Know Before You Fly site http://knowbeforeyoufly.org .
The North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Aviation also has some important information on their website http://www.ncdot.gov/aviation/uas regarding the operation of UAVs in the state. The Division of Aviation also requires UAV operators to pass a knowledge exam and then apply for a North Carolina UAV/UAS operator’s permit.
What is a Government Operator?
The NC Department of Transportation, Division of Aviation defines a Government Operator as: “Government entities that use UAS/drone technology to carry out their functions. This includes public schools and universities.”
What is a Commercial Operator?
The NC Department of Transportation, Division of Aviation defines a Commercial Operator as: “A person or company using UAS/drone technology for compensation or business purposes. This includes any person or company using a drone in any way to advertise, promote or demonstrate a product or service – even if the product or service itself does not include a UAS, UAS-derived photography, etc.
For example, if a real estate agent uses a drone to photograph a property in order to advertise or promote that real estate for sale or lease, then that UAS operation is commercial: the UAS was used for business purposes.”
What is a Recreational (Hobby) Operator?
The NC Department of Transportation, Division of Aviation defines a Recreational Operator as: “Anyone who uses UAS/drone technology solely for the purpose of recreation.”
Additional guidelines for recreational operators.
Recreational UAS/drone operators are not required to obtain a license or permit from the Division of Aviation. The FAA, however, has set guidelines for safe and responsible operation.
The FAA has partnered with several industry associations to promote Know Before You Fly, a campaign to educate the public about using unmanned aircraft safely and responsibly. Individuals flying for hobby or recreation are strongly encouraged to follow safety guidelines, which include:
- Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
- Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times
- Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations
- Don’t fly within 5 miles of an airport unless you contact the airport and control tower before flying
- Don’t fly near people or stadiums
- Don’t fly an aircraft that weighs more than 55 lbs
- Don’t be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft – you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft
If you have purchased a drone for personal hobby use then we highly recommend you go to the Academy of Model Aeronautics website http://www.modelaircraft.org and join that organization. They are a national organization devoted to model aviation and can provide you with a vast array of resources designed specifically for the model aviation enthusiast.