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Flying drone over "state property" not allowed

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by oldvpi, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. oldvpi

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    Today I was filming the start of a popular 8K race in Raleigh, NC. I had my P3 up on one side of the street where the race was starting and successfully filmed the runners begin. After landing the drone, a police officer cautioned me that flying the drone over "State land" is prohibited. On the other end of the street is NC State's campus, which apparently is state land, not City of Raleigh land. He said he wasn't sure about City laws regarding drones.

    I thanked him and called it a day. I've been trying to figure out if this is actually true though. I know that State parks sometimes have restrictions on drones, but didn't know about something like a State University.
     
  2. tcope

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    North Caroline speaks about drone use:

    NCDOT: Recreational Operators

    The officer appears to be confused on several levels. First, the state could not regulate airspace, only what happens on their ground. So they cannot legally state a UAV cannot be _flown_ over state property. Second, he appears to be applying laws against _state operation_ of UAV flight to private use. That is, the _state_ has many restrictions, the people do not.

    http://www.ncdot.gov/aviation/download/UAS_Memo.pdf

    Here is how it reads:

    NCGS Chapter 15A – Criminal Procedure

    § 15A-300.1. Restrictions on use of unmanned aircraft systems.
    ...
    (b) General Prohibitions. – Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person, entity, or State agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to do any of the following: (1) Conduct surveillance of:
    a. A person or a dwelling occupied by a person and that dwelling's curtilage without the person's consent.
    b. Private real property without the consent of the owner, easement holder, or lessee of the property. (2) Photograph an individual, without the individual's consent, for the purpose of publishing or otherwise publicly disseminating the photograph. This subdivision shall not apply to newsgathering, newsworthy events, or events or places to which the general public is invited.


    The above would apply to anyone conducting surveillance. That is, specifically targeting someone or a group of people . This is also under a heading of "Criminal Procedure". However, under the same heading it then states this:

    § 15A-300.2. Regulation of launch and recovery sites.
    (a) No unmanned aircraft system may be launched or recovered from any State or private property without consent.
    (b) A unit of local government may adopt an ordinance to regulate the use of the local government's property for the launch or recovery of unmanned aircraft systems.

    This is a little confusing. Personally, I think it still applies only to criminal procedures (not hobby use). If nothing else, a _very_ poorly worded statute. I won't get into details but the statute does go on to regulate public airspace, something which the state cannot do.

    Here is another issue that I have:
    (b) General Prohibitions. – Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person, entity, or State agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to do any of the following:
    (1) Conduct surveillance of: a. A person or a dwelling occupied by a person and that dwelling's curtilage without the person's consent. b. Private real property without the consent of the owner, easement holder, or lessee of the property.
    (2) Photograph an individual, without the individual's consent, for the purpose of publishing or otherwise publicly disseminating the photograph. This subdivision shall not apply to newsgathering, newsworthy events, or events or places to which the general public is invited.

    First, I think it's funny/sad that they try to say you can't take a photo of someone... unless it's "news worthy". What is "news worthy" and why should this be different? Stupid. Second, I'm not sure they have read a document called the US Constitution or through the 1st Amendment... and the last time I checked, this was the _FIRST_ Amendment. A person has _every_ right to take a photo of another person in a public place. This is under freedom of speech which is specific to the photos that _will_ be disseminated! If you're intent is to keep them private you have a weaker case.

    In general I question why this is all under the title of "Criminal Procedure". It makes me think that it was only intended to apply to State use but 300.2 does not mention this at all.

    If I was in NC I'd write to the governor and question him on 300.2. I'd also ask why they think they can make a law against the 1st Amendment.
     
  3. WetDog

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  4. oldvpi

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    Thanks guys. I used to be a college football photographer and had the photographers rights in my bag at all times for occasions when I was not on the football field.

    I've never written my governor, but I think now is as good a time as any time. I'll let you all know what I find out.

    Thanks again!