Key members of the Alaska Legislature's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Task Force have debuted a new public-safety campaign for drone operators, vendors and purchasers.
Entitled ‘Alaska's 'Know Before You Fly' Guidelines,’ the safety sheet and accompanying website bring together the federal guidelines and best practices in one place.
“The excitement, along with the affordability and ease of acquiring the technology, has led to a proliferation of drones on store shelves as well as of unmanned flights,” says Rep. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, and the chair of the UAS Task Force. “Many well-meaning individuals want to fly and fly safely, but they don’t realize that just because you can buy a UAS, doesn’t mean you can fly it anywhere or for any purpose.”
Hughes explains that’s why the Legislature, state and federal governments, and stakeholders come together for task force meetings. He says that “for safe skies and the public good, it’s important for Alaska consumers to have this resource.”
He says the guidelines “were based on a joint effort of the Academy of Model Aeronautics [AMA] and the Association of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems International.”
“The Academy of Model Aeronautics would like to congratulate the state of Alaska for its leadership role in its approach to the advent of [UAS],” says Bob Brown, president of AMA. “And, the Academy looks forward to partnering with the Alaskan legislature and the state’s leadership in assuring that small unmanned aircraft of all types are operated in a safe and responsible manner while fostering the growth and vitality of this promising technology.”
The task force includes members from AMA, the University of Alaska, the Alaska Aviation Safety Board, four other state agencies and members of the public. They’ll continue to meet and prepare recommendations to the Legislature on administering the systems effectively in Alaska.
Hughes says further meetings will be held during the coming first session of the 29th Alaska Legislature and through the Task Force’s lifespan of June 30, 2017.