North-Carolina-State-FlagNorth Carolina SB 446 expands the authority of the state’s Chief Information Officer to approve the purchase and operation of UAS by the state and modifies the state regulation of UAS to conform to FAA guidelines. The Bill includes 3 sections. Section 2 pertains to drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems). I have only included the text from section 2 below.

If you have any questions about Drone Flying Laws in North Carolina please visit the North Carolina General Assembly and search for drones and Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Do not forget to always abide by the FAA regulations  no matter where you fly.

Do:

  • Fly your Drone below 400 FT
  • Fly with local clubs
  • Inspect your aircraft before you fly
  • Take a lesson before you fly

Don’t

  • Don’t fly your drone beyond line of sight
  • Don’t fly near airports or any manned aircraft
  • Don’t fly near people or stadiums
  • Don’t be careless or reckless, you could be fined if you endanger people or other aircraft
  • Don’t fly anything that weighs more than 55lbs.
  • Don’t fly for payment or commercial purposes unless specifically authorized by the FAA

PART II. UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

SECTION 2.1. Section 7.16(e) of S.L. 2013-360, as amended by Section 7.11(a) of S.L. 2014-100, reads as rewritten:

“SECTION 7.16.(e) Until December 31, 2015, no State or local governmental entity or officer may procure or operate an unmanned aircraft system or disclose personal information about any person acquired through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system unless the State CIO approves an exception specifically granting disclosure, use, or purchase. An exceptions to the prohibition in this subsection shall be reported immediatelythe State CIO shall have the authority to approve or disapprove (i) the procurement or operation of an unmanned aircraft system by agents or agencies of the State or a political subdivision of the State and (ii) the disclosure of personal information about any person acquired through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system by agents or agencies of the State or a political subdivision of the State. When making a decision under this subsection, the State CIO may consult with the Division of Aviation of the Department of Transportation. The State CIO shall immediately report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Information Technology and the Fiscal Research Division. Division on all decisions made under this subsection. Notwithstanding G.S. 63-95(c), agents or agencies of the State or a political subdivision of the State that receive State CIO approval under this subsection may procure or operate an unmanned aircraft system prior to the implementation of the knowledge test required by G.S. 63-95. In addition to receiving approval from the State CIO under this subsection, agents or agencies of the State or a political subdivision of the State who submit a request on or after the date of implementation of the knowledge test required by G.S. 63-95 shall also be subject to the provisions of that section. The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

(2) “Unmanned aircraft system” means 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.”

SECTION 2.2. Section 34.30(j) of S.L. 2014-100 reads as rewritten:

“SECTION 34.30.(j) NoExcept as authorized under Section 7.16(e) of S.L. 2013-360, as amended by Section 7.11(a) of S.L. 2014-100, no operation of unmanned aircraft systems by agents or agencies of the State, or agents or agencies ofState or a political subdivision of the State, State shall be authorized in this State until the knowledge and skills test required by G.S. 63-95, as enacted in subsection (g) of this section, has been implemented.

No operation of unmanned aircraft systems for commercial purposes shall be authorized in this State until the FAA has authorized commercial operations and the licensing system required by G.S. 63-96, as enacted in subsection (g) of this section, has been implemented.”

SECTION 2.3. G.S. 63-95(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b) The Division shall develop a knowledge and skills test for operating an unmanned aircraft system that complies with all applicable State and federal regulations and shall provide Senate Bill 446 Session Law 2015-232  for administration of the test. The test shall ensure that the operator of an unmanned aircraft system is knowledgeable of the State statutes and regulations regarding the operation of unmanned aircraft systems. 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.”

SECTION 2.4. G.S. 63-96 reads as rewritten:

“§ 63-96. License Permit required for commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems.

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

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

following apply:

(1) The person is at least 18 17 years of age.

(2) The person possesses a valid drivers license issued by any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.

(3) The person has passed the knowledge and skills test for operating an unmanned aircraft system 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 licensepermit to operate an unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes shall not be issued to a person while the person’s license or permit to operate an unmanned aircraft system 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 license issue permits to operators of unmanned aircraft systems for commercial purposes. The program must include the following components:

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

(2) A fee structure for licenses.permits.

(3) A licensepermit application process.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 license.permit.

(6) Criteria under which the Division may waive licensurepermitting requirements for applicants currently holding a valid license or permit to operate unmanned aircraft systems issued by another state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the United States.

(7) A designation of the geographic area within which a licenseepermittee shall be authorized to operate an unmanned aircraft system. The rules adopted by the Division for designating a geographic area pursuant to this subdivision shall be no more restrictive than the rules or regulations adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration for designating a geographic area for the commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems.

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

(9) Requirements for the marking of each unmanned aircraft system operated pursuant to a licensepermit issued under this section sufficient to permitallow identification of the owner of the system and the person licensedissued 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 licenseespermittees and the geographic areas within which the licenseespermittee is permittedauthorized to operate an unmanned aircraft system.

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

(f) The Division may issue rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this section.”

SECTION 2.5. Prior to the implementation of the knowledge test and permitting process required by G.S. 63-96, any person authorized by the FAA for commercial operation of an unmanned aircraft system in this State shall not be in violation of that statute, provided that the person makes application for a State permit for commercial operation within 60 days of the full implementation of the permitting process and is issued a State commercial operation permit in due course.