New laws affecting drone usage in the state take effect December 1, 2017. One of two new laws prohibits drone usage within a 500 foot horizontal distance or a 250 foot vertical distance of a prison, jail or any correction or containment facility. The other law clarifies that state drone laws also apply to model aircraft as well, though model aircraft remain exempt from the state’s permitting requirements for drones.


It was a popular gift this holiday season.  Drones are now buzzing over eastern North Carolina skies after the holiday season.  Jared Brumbaugh speaks with Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Manager for the North Carolina Department of Transportation Chris Gibson about new FAA regulations in place and some tips to stay safe.

Scott Taylor - Duke Marine Lab

We take part in drone testing with the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort.  From tracking sea turtles off our coast to collecting information about marine debris, drones are proving beneficial to coastal scientists.

From Amazon’s package delivery drone to the Air Force’s mighty MQ-1 Predator, unmanned aerial vehicles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. At the coast, marine scientists are working on new ways to apply the technology, with promising results.

This week on the Down East Journal, Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort is involved in research using drones to document marine debris on beaches around the world.  We discuss the RACE FOR WATER project, how plastics impact the environment and how similar drone technology eventually be used along the coast of North Carolina. The Down East Journal airs Fridays at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturdays at noon on all of the News and Ideas stations.