Brooks Pierce to Sponsor NGAT Public Forum on Drone Use in North Carolina


Brooks Pierce will sponsor the NextGen Air Transportation (NGAT) program's annual public forum on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in North Carolina.  The event, being held Monday, June 27, at the N.C. State University Hunt Library in Raleigh, will provide an in-depth discussion of the current state of the UAS industry, commonly referred to as drones, and aims to connect stakeholders in this emerging industry.

Kyle Snyder, director of NGAT, and Stephen Hartzell, Brooks Pierce partner and drone attorney, will moderate the discussions, which will cover a variety of topics including an update on NGAT's research, the Federal Aviation Administration's UAS Center of Excellence ASSURE team progress, an overview of the North Carolina Department of Transportation's new drone permitting program and commercial drone operations across the state.  The FAA is expected to issue its final rules on the commercial operation of drones soon, and those will also be discussed if they have been issued before the event.

“Four years ago, we launched the NGAT program at NC State to prepare North Carolina for UAS integration. Looking back at how much has changed and grown is inspiring. North Carolina is recognized as a national leader in the UAS community thanks to local companies, responsible legislation, and research excellence,” Snyder said. “This annual event provides the chance to review the activities in the state, while educating on the latest trends and progress across this dynamic industry. We have built a vibrant, connected UAS community in the state and we are still just getting started.” 

Hartzell added: “As the UAS industry and its related manufacturing and service industries continue to grow, it’s important to explore new opportunities created by the technology.  At the same time, it is important to nurture the public’s understanding of the evolving legal ecosystem surrounding the various aspects of UAS. Events like this provide an ongoing dialogue for stakeholders to discuss use cases and significant operational, legal, and privacy issues.”

NGAT is a nonprofit partnership of academia, industry and government agencies created to provide a research and application-oriented, technology transfer-focused organization for conducting technology development, investigations and field trials as North Carolina prepares for a modern air transportation system. NGAT focuses on developing and evaluating improvements to existing and anticipated air traffic control, airspace management, airport and airspace system capacity, surface traffic management and flight safety, specifically as they relate to the integration of UAS into domestic airspace.

Brooks Pierce has been at the forefront of drone law developments, and represents a variety of businesses on issues related to drone use. Hartzell, as one of the firm’s leading interdisciplinary technology lawyers, advises clients on compliance with Federal Aviation Administration and state operational and licensing regulations, and helps businesses navigate contractual, intellectual property, and privacy issues. 

The NGAT forum will begin at 3 p.m. at the N.C. State University Hunt Library, Centennial Campus. For registration information visit or contact NGAT Program Director Kyle Snyder at 919.515.9351 or


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