Alaska UAS Task Force’s New Guidelines Underscore Drone Privacy


Alaska’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Legislative Task Force (UASLTF) recently unveiled its privacy and use guidelines for drone operators in the state.

The task force examined common scenarios and decided an illustrated, easy-to-understand format was best. The guidelines include information on the roles of the Federal Aviation Administration and law enforcement; the Know Before You Fly safety campaign; what to do in situations where a drone is violating privacy or flying unsafely; and the differences between recreational and commercial UAS flying. It also provides links and contact information to several parties, such as the Alaska UAS test range and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).

Co-chaired by Rep. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, and Sen. Peter Micciche, R-District O, the task force comprises private industry members, state of Alaska department officials, public members, and individuals with technology and aviation expertise. Created by the passage of House Concurrent Resolution 15 during the 28th legislature to help direct a state policy for Alaska, the group began work on the guidelines last spring.

UASLTF says personal privacy rights have been in the forefront of concerns raised by the public. The task force notes that the guidelines provide an informational aid and overview of certain federal and state laws that may apply to drone use and are not intended to provide legal advice or a comprehensive review of all laws pertaining to drone use.

“I am very happy with the final product; it will be a great tool for educating the public,” says Hughes. “It’s user-friendly and applicable to all ages and skill levels of drone operators. Non-drone users will find it helpful, as well.”

UASLTF says it will continue its outreach to help protect citizens’ personal privacy. It is providing the guidelines to drone retailers, school districts and libraries. In addition, for easy distribution, it plans to create postcards with a QR code and a link to the online version.

Dave Mathewson, executive director of AMA, says in a statement, “We applaud Alaska’s UAS Legislative Task Force for taking a comprehensive approach to its safety and privacy guidelines that builds off existing federal and state laws, as well as the experience of the organized hobbyist community. AMA has been represented on the task force since its inception and provided input as the committee offered legislation and policy recommendations for UAS operations.”

The guidelines can be accessed here.

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