Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/24/2015 01:00 PM Senate TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHJR 5(TRA) AM Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
         HJR  5-RECOGNIZE ACADEMY OF MODEL AERONAUTICS                                                                      
1:02:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE announced HJR 5  to be up for consideration [CSHJR
5(TRA) AM was before the committee].                                                                                            
GINGER BLAISDELL,  staff to  Representative Hughes,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska,  sponsor   of  HJR  5,  said  this                                                               
resolution  recognizes  the  Academy  of  Model  Aeronautics  for                                                               
establishing safety  guidelines and best practices  for the hobby                                                               
and recreational flyers.                                                                                                        
She explained  that the Federal Aeronautics  Administration (FAA)                                                               
establishes rules  for government and commercial  use of unmanned                                                               
aircraft and  is not establishing  rules for recreational  use at                                                               
this time, but the Academy  of Model Aeronautics has been working                                                               
with hobbyists  for over 75  years and has established  rules and                                                               
guidelines for safe flying that are recognized by the FAA.                                                                      
1:03:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BLAISDEL said  the  sponsor had  received  a question  about                                                               
resolve  language on  page 2,  line 18  that says,  "Alaska State                                                               
Legislature urges  the state to  work with federal  agencies" and                                                               
then lines 24 and  25 sends a copy of the  resolution only to the                                                               
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).  The question was why other                                                               
state  agencies aren't  receiving copies  of the  resolution, and                                                               
the answer  is that five state  agencies are already on  the task                                                               
force that  actually drafted this  resolution. So, they  would be                                                               
sending  it  to themselves,  but  sending  it  to the  UAF  would                                                               
recognize  the  test  site as  it  considers  recommendations  on                                                               
unmanned aircraft safety rules to the FAA.                                                                                      
CHAIR  MICCICHE found  no questions  from  committee members  and                                                               
opened public testimony.                                                                                                        
1:05:46 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE COLLIGAN,  Director, Government Affairs, Alaska  Academy of                                                               
Model Aeronautics, Wasilla, Alaska, said  he grew up in Fairbanks                                                               
and had  been a model airplane  enthusiast for as far  back as he                                                               
can remember. He said the  Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has                                                               
been  around  for  almost  80  years.  It  is  a  community-based                                                               
organization that  has been self-regulating and  self-insured. It                                                               
provides insurance  for property owners  and for the  pilots. Its                                                               
rules and regulations have evolved over the 80-year period.                                                                     
He said  the Wright Brothers  belonged to a model  aviation group                                                               
before they flew real-size airplanes  and they set the standards.                                                               
The difference  between model aircraft  and drones comes  down to                                                               
basically if  you are getting  paid for  flying them or  not. The                                                               
technology  is so  affordable that  the question  becomes one  of                                                               
operation safety and guidelines.                                                                                                
He said model aviation operates  at assigned flying fields within                                                               
line of sight and has had its  own code of safety and conduct for                                                               
a long  time, while  the FAA is  working through  regulations for                                                               
beyond line of  sight professional use for a fee.  So, this is an                                                               
opportunity to clearly put their best foot forward.                                                                             
MR. COLLIGAN  held up a "Know  Before You Fly" brochure  that was                                                               
put out  in cooperation  with the  Academy of  Model Aeronautics,                                                               
Association  for Unmanned  Vehicle Systems  International (AUVSI)                                                               
(the  association for  professional drone  operators), the  small                                                               
Unmanned  Aerial Vehicle  (UAV) coalition  and the  FAA. He  said                                                               
it's more  than a full-time job  to keep up with  the regulations                                                               
and  bureaucracy  and this  is  a  one-portal access  for  users,                                                               
professional  or  recreational,  to  find out  what  the  current                                                               
regulations are and understand the process.                                                                                     
1:08:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Three weeks ago  the FAA released notice  of proposed rule-making                                                               
(NPRM) that  allows for a  favorable operation, but it's  not the                                                               
law of  the land at  the moment. So,  all of them,  including the                                                               
Unmanned  Aerial  Systems  Task   Force,  must  work  to  provide                                                               
MR.  COLLIGAN said  the little  white drone  that crashed  on the                                                               
White  House lawn,  for instance,  was  an off-the-shelf  product                                                               
that had some  distinct modifications. The reality  is that there                                                               
are 15,000 of  them a month coming onto U.S.  shores and the more                                                               
news about them the more excitement is created.                                                                                 
Today he was  asking the legislature to help them  set forth best                                                               
practices, so Alaska  can put its logo on this  national site. He                                                               
said the  Academy of Model  Aeronautics has over  200,000 members                                                               
1:10:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP said the resolution  only mentions one person from                                                               
the State  of Alaska, UA President  Gamble, and asked if  he felt                                                               
anyone else in the state should be included.                                                                                    
1:11:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  COLLIGAN   said  that   the  Task  Force   is  made   up  of                                                               
representatives from  Homeland Security and  affected departments                                                               
- the  state Department of  Transportation and  Public Facilities                                                               
and the Department of Natural  Resources (that will eventually be                                                               
users in the  mapping industry) - and so adding  them wouldn't be                                                               
CHAIR  MICCICHE, finding  no further  questions, thanked  him for                                                               
his testimony.                                                                                                                  
1:12:52 PM                                                                                                                    
RO BAILEY, Director, UAF test  site, Fairbanks, Alaska, supported                                                               
HJR  5. She  said the  AMA is  an important  group for  those who                                                               
eventually move into the commercial  and scientific side of using                                                               
drones,  but it's  also an  important group  for helping  provide                                                               
some guidelines  and some assistance  to those who would  like to                                                               
do the right thing, but have no other way to find out.                                                                          
1:14:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SHELLEY HUGHES,  sponsor of  HJR 5,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, commented  that typically  when the                                                               
legislature recognizes  an organization it's through  a citation,                                                               
because it  is wonderful.  They think  the academy  is wonderful,                                                               
but the reason for using a  resolution to recognize it is because                                                               
it's very important that the  casual recreational users know what                                                               
the  safety rules  are  so  the skies  are  safe. Incidents  have                                                               
happened when someone  flew a drone in a place  that would not be                                                               
safe (near  people or  the vicinity of  manner aircraft)  and she                                                               
didn't want a  tragic accident to bring this to  the attention of                                                               
Alaskans. This  resolution is a much  better way to try  to avoid                                                               
any incident like that.                                                                                                         
She  also pointed  out that  Alaskadrones.org is  a resource  for                                                               
those recreational user guidelines.                                                                                             
CHAIR  MICCICHE,  finding  no further  questions,  closed  public                                                               
SENATOR BISHOP moved  to report CSHJR 5(TRA)  from committee with                                                               
individual recommendations  and attached zero fiscal  note. There                                                               
were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHJR5(TRA)am ver H.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
CSHJR5(TRA)am Sponsor Statement - recognize AMA.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
HJR5-Fiscal Note -LEG-SESS-02-06-2015 #1.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
CSHJR5(TRA)am Changes to version H.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
HJR 5 KBYF_Brochure (4 Panel).pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
SB 66 - Ver E.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 - Sponsor Statement.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 - Supporting Documents- Letter Alaska Pacific Leasing 3-12-15.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 Supporting Documents-Letter -David Faulk 3-16-15.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 Supporting Documents - Knauss Email.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
SB 66
SB 66 Fiscal Note-DOR -3-23-15.pdf STRA 3/24/2015 1:00:00 PM
SB 66