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New drone laws take effect December 1

As drones, also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS),  become more common, North Carolina’s laws are changing to stay up-to-date  with this fast-growing industry.  Two laws that were passed in July will  take effect on Friday, Dec. 1.

House  Bill 128 prohibits drone use near prisons, jails and any other  correction or containment facility. Near is defined as a horizontal  distance of 500 feet or a vertical distance of 250 feet. Signs will be placed  around facilities to remind drone users of the boundaries.

House  Bill 337 revises existing state drone laws. The language of the law has  been changed to clarify that UAS laws will now apply to model aircraft as  well. Model aircraft users are still exempt from the state’s permitting  requirements.

The revisions  also loosen restrictions on the use of UAS in emergency management. The law  permits emergency management agencies to use drones for all activities  related to emergency management and removes the restriction on the use of  special imaging technology. The use of technologies such as thermal and  infrared was previously only permitted for scientific purposes. The removal  of the restriction allows private and commercial operators to assist law  enforcement with emergency management efforts such as search and rescue  operations.

The UAS  Knowledge Test Study Guide has been updated to reflect these changes and is  available on the N.C.  Division of Aviation website, along with information on how to ensure you  are compliant with current regulations.

Taken from NCDOT press release

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