In North Carolina, it is legal to fly a drone over personal property. This applies to the town of Emerald Isle NC as well.
North Carolina State Law
North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) explain where drones are and are not permitted.
It’s a common misconception that recreational drones are not allowed to fly over private property. This is not true. You can fly over private property. No special consent from the homeowner is needed. You can fly a helicopter or an airplane over private property as well.
While it is perfectly legal to fly over private property, North Carolina State Law does prohibit surveillance of private property.
NCGS § 15A-300.1 states:
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.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want a drone hovering over my house. If your drone is traveling to the ocean or you’re taking some pictures of the beautiful island, go for it. But in addition to following the law I hope that all recreational drone operators also use some common sense and courtesy.