Drone Legislation Action Alerts

8/9/2015 Drone legislation in Raleigh:  The  budget is six weeks late and the Senate and House versions are hundreds of millions of dollars apart, and it's not clear when or how they'll get it together and pass a budget.

 Guess is that it's unlikely the drone legislation will come up at all - it's in the House transpo wishlist, and will go through unnoticed, like last year. 

What You Need To Do

Contact the Senate Budget Conferees.  (See below)

Deliver this message

 Dear Representatives:

 It is my understanding that the drone bill, H4, Clarify Unmanned Aircraft System law, is back with the Senate Budget Committee. 

 Unfortunately for North Carolinians, it does not amend the drone law passed last year, but it does amend the moratorium set in 2013. More troubling is that it does re-state and expand the State Chief Information Officer's authority to issue waivers for law enforcement drones.   


H4 needs to be blocked from going forward until the drone law (conveniently buried on pages 227 – 231 of the 256 page SB744 - the NC Budget Bill tha passed in August, 2014)  giving law enforcement wide authority to conduct warrantless surveillance is repealed or significantly amended.  These provisions are a violation of our 4th Amendment right to privacy.  

At the very least, H4 should be an opportunity to require the State Chief Information Officer (SCIO) to answer publicly exactly what he has used the waiver authority for up to now: 

One of your current waivers is for testing at the Moyock facility known as 'Academi.' Exactly what type of testing is going on at the company-formerly-known-as-Blackwater, and does it include any military drones or personnel? 

Why was it deemed appropriate or necessary to involve a private military contractor in a civilian State-funded drone testing program?

What other military-related testing is happening under the current waivers issued by the SCIO?

H4 appears to allow the SCIO to issue waivers for political subdivisions of the State (including local law enforcement) to acquire and operate drones before the implementation of the knowledge and skills test required by GS 63-95. Have any entities other than the NGAT (NextGen Air Transportation) testing program operated by NCSU requested permission to acquire drones, and will any requests for law enforcement purposes be made public before they are granted?

In the interest of transparency, will you release all the information regarding testing of drones in NC, including all previous and pending COA applications (FAA Certificates of Authorization and/or Certificates of Airworthiness),information on planned future drone testing locations, etc.?

Is there currently an existing site, or a plan to open a new site in western NC?

Thank you for your time and consideration.  I look forward to your reply.  

 


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Here's the Senate budget conferees - anybody on there someone you could reach out to & ask them to make some noise about the drone language? Otherwise it's a done deal.