Drones in the news
Where just the name of the bill or resolution is hyperlinked in black that means that it is not yet law!
Note that bills that are now law are changed to blue font
SCR 4 - continues the Task Force on UAS and specifies additional membership and duties of the task force.
HB 256 - took effect July 1, 2016 - requests the Department of Fish and Game to evaluate the use of UAS for aerial survey work and report findings related to safety and cost-savings compared to manned aircraft.
House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 6 (download below) - recognizing the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as a national leader in unmanned aircraft research and development; and relating to a Task Force on Unmanned Aircraft Systems - 2013
HCR 6 created a legislative Task Force on UAS. The task force is charged with creating written recommendations and legislation that allows for UAS to be used in a way that protects privacy. In addition to members of the legislature, the task force will be comprised of representatives from state agencies, aviation organizations and academia. The task force must provide an initial report of its findings by Jan. 15, 2014, and a final report by July 1, 2014.
On April 4, 2014, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution extending the termination date of the Legislative Task Force on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), which was created with the passage of HCR6. HCR15 extends the Task Force from June 30, 2014 to June 30, 2017, coinciding with the FAA’s test site period for UAS in Alaska. Additionally, the resolution adds five new members to the existing seven on the original Task Force: one public member, two UAS industry members, one representing the Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development and one representing the Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities.
House Bill (HB) 255 (download below) - relates to UAS, and images captured by a UAS (2014):
Section 14.40.082, Unmanned Aircraft System Training - The University of Alaska may establish a training program in the operation of unmanned aircraft systems.
Article 13, Law Enforcement Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Section 18.65.900 - Except as provided in AS 18.65.900 – 18.65.909, a law enforcement agency may not use an unmanned aircraft system.
Section 18.605.901, Operational Requirements for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Section 18.65.902, Use of an Unmanned Aircraft System by a Law Enforcement Agency
Section 18.65.903, Retention of Images
Section 18.65.909, Definitions
Section 29.35.146, Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems
HB 255 created procedures and standards for law enforcement’s use of unmanned aircraft, as well as, regulations for the retention of information collected with UAS. It requires law enforcement agencies to adopt procedures that ensure: the appropriate Federal Aviation Administration flight authorization is obtained; UAS operators are trained and certified; a record of all flights are kept and there is an opportunity for community involvement in the development of the agencies’ procedures. Under the law, police may use UAS pursuant to a search warrant, pursuant to a judicially recognized exception to the warrant requirement and in situations not involving a criminal investigation. Images captured with UAS may be retained by police under the law for training purposes or if it is required as part of an investigation or prosecution. The law also authorizes the University of Alaska to develop a training program for operating UAS.
On October 24, 2015, in House Joint Resolution (HJR) 5, Alaska recognized the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) for establishing safety guidelines and best practices.
Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS
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