Commercial Drones PilotsThe Richmond Observer – Elon University, NCDOT to host Elon Drone Day

October 15, 2021by helo-10

ELON — To address the ever-growing popularity of commercial and recreational drone use, Elon University’s School of Communications in partnership with the N.C. Department of Transportation and others will be hosting Elon Drone Day on Nov. 8.

Elon Drone Day will be a daylong program held in the Turner Theatre and Dwight C. Schar Hall, located in the School of Communications. The program is aimed at answering questions regarding regulations, safety and overall use and other trends in the drone industry. 

“Elon Drone Day aims to provide a platform to help share knowledge within the drone community on how to fly safely by following the Federal Aviation Administration guidelines,” said Senior Lecturer Randy Piland, who has promoted drones and related safety regulations for the past five years and is organizing the event. “Elon is a perfect place to discuss drone industry use openly,” he added, noting the university’s journalism and cinema programs, as well as other disciplines such as engineering, earth sciences and computer programming. “This event is open to anyone curious about how to consider drone use in their professions.”

The program will feature conversations with FAA safety officials, NCDOT aviation leaders, drone delivery specialists, video storytellers and other experts. In addition to onsite panels and lectures, there will be displays and activities for those in attendance, with a drone demonstration in the afternoon.

Piland said NCDOT has been a great partner in organizing the day’s programming and activities. 

“NCDOT is committed to innovation and prioritizing safety, and the use of drones has greatly improved our methods for serving the citizens of our state,” said T.C. Freeman, an aviation safety specialist with the department’s Division of Aviation. “Events and programs like this are a boon for the leaders of the next generation and a great way to help us ensure people are operating drones safely and responsibly.”

The event is free and open to recreational and commercial pilots, educators, students and other members of the community interested in unmanned aircraft systems. Registration is required.

For more information and to register, visit the School of Communications’ website or contact Randy Piland at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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