Alaska might not come to mind immediately when you think of states with active aviation operations, but in fact aviation is critical to and valued by the state. The Alaska Airmen’s Association asserts that there are more licensed pilots per capita in Alaska than anywhere else in the United States, in fact.
Well, unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”) or drones are there, too. In fact, Alaska is one of six states that will serve as a testing site for unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, the Federal Aviation Administration announced recently. Alaska’s weather, geography, resources, and activities are rich territory (or air space ) for such operations.
And so this recent editorial asking Alaska lawmakers to join many other states in regulating UAV usage relative to individual privacy rights;
The subject of privacy in the age of drones is one of such incredible importance. The temptation for government and civilian misuse of these pilotless aircraft could be great.
The National Conference of State Legislatures on Friday issued an update on how the various states are handling the issue. The NCSL found that 13 states have enacted 16 laws regarding UAV use. Alaska is not one of those states.
“Common issues addressed in the legislation include defining what a UAS, UAV or drone is, how they can be used by law enforcement or other state agencies, how they can be used by the general public, regulations for their use in hunting game and the Federal Aviation Administration UAS test sites.”
Alaska legislators need to take up the issue in earnest this session and act to ensure the privacy of the state’s residents