Drones are an increasingly integral part of all emergency response operations, so the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is working to make sure the state’s drone operators are prepared when disaster strikes.
NCDOT’s Division of Aviation Office UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or ‘drones’) Program Office, in partnership with N.C. Emergency Management, is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create a statewide UAS Working Group with local, state and federal governments, and the private sector.
The goal of the UAS Working Group is to establish a partnership where government and private sector partners can forge strong relationships by sharing best practices and training for disasters and other emergencies.
NCDOT’s role is to assist N.C. Emergency Management on transportation and infrastructure issues, as well as using the department’s experience with the operation of unmanned aircraft systems.
The group kicked off this effort last month at a meeting in Manteo. Members include representatives from NCDOT, N.C. Emergency Management, FEMA, the Federal Aviation Authority, Office of the State Fire Marshal, the N.C. Community College System and the N.C. Public Safety Drone Academy, as well as local law enforcement and fire departments. The next phase will involve meetings with private sector operators.