The Legislative Task Force on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has released an interim report to the Alaska legislature. Last month, the University of Alaska was designated as one of six UAS test site operators.
According to the report, the task force was formed to review regulations and guidance regarding UAS and provide recommendations for a comprehensive state policy for unmanned aircraft that protects privacy and allows the use of UAS for public and private applications.
For the report, the task force reviewed multiple potential UAS scenarios, focusing on privacy issues, economic development, public safety and anticipated mission types. The report concludes that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is adequately addressing the safety concerns of integrating UAS into the national airspace system (NAS).
After understanding the role of the FAA and safety goals for integration of UAS into the NAS, the task force has made the following recommendations:
1. All state and local law enforcement entities should adopt the International Association of Chiefs of Police guidelines to help ensure privacy protection for Alaskans.
2. All law enforcement entities must first obtain a court order to use UAS over private property for criminal investigation against any person.
3. Encourage all law enforcement entities to use high-visibility marking or navigational lighting on law enforcement UAS as appropriate.
4. Convey a clear message to industry that Alaska is open for business to harness the beneficial uses of UAS and encourage the growth of the economic sector.
5. Encourage private and public UAS training programs.
6. Report all UAS incidents/accidents of aircraft larger than 55 pounds to the University of Alaska and/or Alaska Aviation Coordination Council.
7. Extend the task force until June 30, 2017, and expand the duties of the task force with the addition of one member representing the Alaska Department of Transportation/Public Facilities and one public member.
The full report can be found here.