Local News

Drone use 101: DOT offers tips on how to fly safely

Posted December 6, 2016

— No matter what they're called, remote-controlled flying devices – sometimes called quadcopters, but perhaps better known as drones – will be at the top of many Christmas wish lists this year.

Officials with the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Aviation Division hosted a demonstration Tuesday on how to legally operate recreational drones.

While they aren't heavily regulated, there are guidelines for how to stay safe while using recreational drones. If you're giving or receiving a drone this holiday season, be sure to do to the following:

  • Register your drone with the FAA online - devices between .55 pounds and 55 pounds must be registered
  • Fly the drone below 400 feet, because manned aircrafts can fly as low as 500 feet
  • Keep the drone in your line of sight
  • Don't fly within 5 miles of an airport or a hospital with a helicopter landing pad
  • Don't fly for commercial use, as that requires additional permitting

There are other online tips about how to safely operate drones, and DOT offers a FAQ section on its website covering drone use. Officials also recommend including a special gift tag on any drone given to family or friends.

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