Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106


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12:04:36 PM Start
12:05:24 PM SCR4
12:52:28 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Location Change --
Moved HCS CSSCR 4(AET) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
** This Meeting will be Recessed to Thurs.
3/23 at Noon for Public Testimony **
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ARCTIC POLICY,                                                                          
               ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM                                                                              
                         March 21, 2017                                                                                         
                           12:04 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Dean Westlake, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Representative David Talerico                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CS FOR SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 4(STA)                                                                                  
Relating to the Task Force on Unmanned Aircraft Systems.                                                                        
     - MOVED HCS CSSCR 4(AET) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                  
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SCR 4                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: TASK FORCE ON UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HUGHES                                                                                                   
02/22/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/17       (S)       STA                                                                                                    
03/09/17       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/09/17       (S)       Moved CSSCR 4(STA) Out of Committee                                                                    
03/09/17       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/10/17       (S)       STA RPT CS  5DP    SAME TITLE                                                                          
03/10/17       (S)       DP: DUNLEAVY, EGAN, COGHILL, GIESSEL,                                                                  
03/13/17       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
03/13/17       (S)       VERSION: CSSCR 4(STA)                                                                                  
03/14/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/14/17       (H)       AET                                                                                                    
03/21/17       (H)       AET AT 12:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                            
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
BUDDY WHITT, Staff                                                                                                              
Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Presented  SCR 4  on  behalf  of  Senator                                                             
Hughes, prime sponsor.                                                                                                          
STEVE WACKOWSKI, Taskforce Member                                                                                               
Operations Manager                                                                                                              
Tuluva  Joint  Venture   between  Fairweather  Science,  Kaktovik                                                               
Inupiat Corporation, and Olgoonik Oilfield Services                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During the hearing of SCR  4, testified and                                                             
answered questions.                                                                                                             
CATHY CAHILL, Director                                                                                                          
Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration                                                                         
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  of SCR  4,  answered                                                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
12:04:36 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR DEAN WESTLAKE called the  House Special Committee On Arctic                                                             
Policy,  Economic Development,  and Tourism  meeting to  order at                                                               
1:06  p.m.   Representatives Westlake,  Knopp, Talerico,  Edgmon,                                                               
and   Josephson   were   present    at   the   call   to   order.                                                               
Representatives Newman  and Tuck  arrived as  the meeting  was in                                                               
         SCR  4-TASK FORCE ON UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS                                                                     
12:05:24 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE   announced  that  the  only   order  of                                                               
business would  be SENATE CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION NO.  4, Relating                                                               
to  the Task  Force  on Unmanned  Aircraft  Systems. [Before  the                                                               
committee was Version 30-LS0360\D.]                                                                                             
12:05:54 PM                                                                                                                   
BUDDY  WHITT,   Staff,  Senator  Shelley  Hughes,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, advised  that in 2013, Senator  Hughes' constituents                                                               
brought to her attention the  issue of unmanned aircraft systems,                                                               
particularly  involving  privacy  concerns   with  drones.    The                                                               
legislative  task  force was  formed  to  provide a  private  and                                                               
public  partnership  for  the advancement  of  unmanned  aircraft                                                               
systems and looking  at state and federal laws having  to do with                                                               
privacy concerns in Alaska.  The  key component of the task force                                                               
was  to review  Alaska's  statutes to  determine what  additional                                                               
privacy protections were needed in  order to not only protect the                                                               
privacy of  Alaskans, but also  provide for an expansion  of this                                                               
growing technology.   Key pieces of legislation  came forward due                                                               
to this task  force and the 2014 legislation  clearly defined the                                                               
rules for law enforcement's use  of unmanned aircraft systems and                                                               
permitted  the  University  of  Alaska  to  develop  an  unmanned                                                               
aircraft system  operations training program.   The bill strictly                                                               
specified the  following: search  warrants must be  issued before                                                               
gathering evidence for a  criminal investigation, law enforcement                                                               
maintain a record  of each flight, establish  an available flight                                                               
record system, law  enforcement would only be  allowed to operate                                                               
with   trained   and   certified   pilots   and   crews,   obtain                                                               
authorization,  permits, and  certificates required  by the  FAA,                                                               
notify  the public  of operations  of unmanned  aircraft systems,                                                               
provide  for   community  involvement   in  the   development  of                                                               
policies, ensure that  the flight of an  unmanned aircraft system                                                               
was for a  public purpose, and dispose of images  not required as                                                               
part of an investigation for prosecution or training.                                                                           
12:09:46 PM                                                                                                                   
MR. WHITT  advised that the  taskforce on  passed HJR 5  in 2015,                                                               
recognizing  the  Academy  of Model  Aeronautics  for  its  drone                                                               
safety and  education purposes.   In 2016,  HCR 17 was  passed to                                                               
support the  unmanned aircraft  industry's use  of state  land to                                                               
conduct   tests,   training,    and   develop   the   technology.                                                               
Development  of drone  safety guidelines  and privacy  guidelines                                                               
were  also completed  by  this taskforce  and  examples of  those                                                               
guidelines are enclosed  in the committee packet.   A partnership                                                               
with   the  Department   of   Commerce,   Community  &   Economic                                                               
Development  has been  a key  component in  making certain  those                                                               
items  are available  on line  for those  interested in  flying a                                                               
drone  safely  and  education.    The  taskforce  would  like  to                                                               
continue  to review  the industry,  FAA  guidelines, federal  and                                                               
state laws, and address any  additional concerns from the public.                                                               
The  taskforce is  devoted to  volunteers to  run this  taskforce                                                               
with zero cost  to the state, and the bill  sponsor asks that the                                                               
committee support the passage of  this legislation so this effort                                                               
can continue.                                                                                                                   
12:12:15 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  referred to page  3 of the  legislation, and                                                               
advised  he  was looking  for  the  words "public  and  industry"                                                               
because the fiscal note analysis  read, "it was prepared with the                                                               
assumption  that the  amendment  striking the  words 'public  and                                                               
industry' from  page 3 had  been adopted."   He asked  whether it                                                               
had been adopted.                                                                                                               
MR. WHITT responded  that in a previous committee,  the two words                                                               
"public  and  industry" were  stricken  from  the resolution  and                                                               
striking those words  precludes any member of  the taskforce from                                                               
receiving any compensation for their service on the taskforce.                                                                  
12:13:23 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN asked  who  staffs  the taskforce,  copies                                                               
down the recommendations, performs work, and how it is funded.                                                                  
MR.  WHITT  replied   that  the  taskforce  is   staffed  by  two                                                               
legislative  members,  Senator  Hughes  and  Representative  Neal                                                               
Foster, who  put together the agendas,  meetings, materials, take                                                               
minutes,  making  recommendations,  and the  responsibilities  of                                                               
those  two  legislative  members   are  performed  under  current                                                               
funding of those offices.                                                                                                       
12:14:09 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked whether  the recommendations are then                                                               
sent to the legislature.                                                                                                        
MR.  WHITT answered  that if  the taskforce  made recommendations                                                               
concerning  privacy  or  anything related  to  unmanned  aircraft                                                               
systems    that   would    require    legislative   input,    the                                                               
recommendations would  then be drafted  into legislation,  as has                                                               
been worked  on previously,  and brought  to the  legislature for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  noted that eventually there  would have to                                                               
be regulations written for this legislation.                                                                                    
MR. WHITT  responded that for  the taskforce  itself, regulations                                                               
would not be  written, its charter is within the  language of the                                                               
resolution  before   the  committee.     However,  he   said,  if                                                               
regulations needed  to be written by  the state in order  to make                                                               
sure this  technology is managed  properly, it is  quite possible                                                               
the  taskforce   would  make  a  recommendation   for  additional                                                               
regulations.   However, based upon  the history of  the taskforce                                                               
in its  four years of  existence, and  based upon the  history of                                                               
the  legislators who  are assigned,  the proclivity  is to  write                                                               
statute and not regulation.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN   said  that  obviously   regulations  are                                                               
promulgated on  statute, so if statutes  are written, regulations                                                               
will be  written.  There  must also  be a state  entity enforcing                                                               
these regulations and that costs  money, such as state employees'                                                               
time and  efforts.   Now, he said,  there are  recommendations to                                                               
give to a  state entity and asked what state  entity will enforce                                                               
these  regulations, and  what  efforts will  be  involved as  the                                                               
legislature   continues  to   reduce  these   state  departments'                                                               
budgets, yet they still have  all of the regulations currently on                                                               
the books which expends huge costs.   He asked who will cover the                                                               
costs  of  writing  and  enforcing   the  regulations,  and  what                                                               
12:17:05 PM                                                                                                                   
MR.   WHITT  answered   that   the   sponsor  believes   emerging                                                               
technologies require  the state to look  at emerging technologies                                                               
the  right way  because 20-years  ago, unmanned  aircraft systems                                                               
were not known  to be used by civilians and  were used in certain                                                               
military  capacities.    As   these  emerging  technologies  come                                                               
forward, there may  be changes in how the  state conducts itself,                                                               
and  how it  regulates.   He  speculated that  the sponsor  would                                                               
agree there  is cost in  creating regulations and  regulating new                                                               
and   developing  industries   and   technologies,  except,   not                                                               
performing that regulatory task results  in confusion in how this                                                               
technology is supposed to be handled by the state and public.                                                                   
12:18:50 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  commented that the state  does not regulate                                                               
airspace,  the   FAA  regulates  all  airspace   controlled,  and                                                               
uncontrolled.   He  opined that  the taskforce  monitors the  FAA                                                               
actions and regulations  that are put in place,  and provide some                                                               
commentary to the  FAA in developing the regulations.   The state                                                               
as  a  governing body  will  never  have  an option  to  regulate                                                               
airspace, he reiterated.                                                                                                        
MR. WHITT agreed, and he said  the FAA does control airspace, the                                                               
mission of the  taskforce is to be a conduit  between the state's                                                               
interests  and   the  FAA's  regulations  on   unmanned  aircraft                                                               
systems.      However,  he   added,   the   taskforce  has   made                                                               
recommendations on legislation in  previous years and regulations                                                               
must be  written according  to that  legislation.   The taskforce                                                               
rides the  line between federal  interests and/or  Alaska's state                                                               
interests and tries to make  recommendations based upon the needs                                                               
of Alaskans, and what the federal governments dictates.                                                                         
12:20:52 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP requested  an  example  of regulations  the                                                               
taskforce proposed and the state adopted.                                                                                       
MR. WHITT  offered that HB 255  is the clearest indicator  of how                                                               
the taskforce took the FAA  regulations and developed statutes in                                                               
an  attempt to  solve some  of the  concerns of  the public.   He                                                               
advised that the bill dealt  mostly with law enforcements' use of                                                               
unmanned  aircraft  systems, and  setting  up  the University  of                                                               
Alaska, Fairbanks' unmanned aircraft research center.                                                                           
12:21:40 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON, in speaking  in support of the resolution,                                                               
noted  the language  appeared to  be  in future  tense or  future                                                               
oriented.   He  asked why  the legislature  would not  carry this                                                               
taskforce out farther  than just an additional  year, noting that                                                               
the state  is encountering  tough fiscal times.   He  pointed out                                                               
that  he is  becoming  less supportive  of  running these  things                                                               
every year  or every two  years when it  is cheaper to  place the                                                               
timeline at five years.                                                                                                         
MR.  WHITT   responded  that  the  legislative   members  of  the                                                               
taskforce are  on two-year cycles  and the sponsor was  trying to                                                               
keep that same date sequence.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON noted agreed  that that makes sense, except                                                               
on the other hand, it also  make sense that the legislature would                                                               
extend to 2020, or 2022,  because arguably this taskforce will be                                                               
around  for some  time.   He said  he agrees  with Representative                                                               
Newman in  that it  takes money  to run  these bills  through the                                                               
MR. WHITT  agreed to take  Representative Edgmon's  suggestion to                                                               
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
12:25:10 PM                                                                                                                   
STEVE  WACKOWSKI, Taskforce  Member, Operations  Manager, Tulugaq                                                               
Joint  Venture  between  Fairweather  Science,  Kaktovik  Inupiat                                                               
Corporation,  and Olgoonik  Oilfield Services,  advised that  the                                                               
joint  venture  has  conducted   unmanned  aerial  systems  (UAS)                                                               
operations  in  the  North  Slope,  and  Kenai  Peninsula.    Mr.                                                               
Wackowski, in providing  background, advised that he  flew UAS in                                                               
the military oversees,  and research purposes in  the Arctic, and                                                               
commented  that  he  came  home   to  help  grow  the  blossoming                                                               
industry.   In response to  Representative Newman,  answered that                                                               
beyond  just  doing  a  report,  the  taskforce  through  various                                                               
Alaskan  legislators  did  write   letters  of  advocacy  to  the                                                               
Congressional   Delegation,   the   FAA,  and   to   "our   trade                                                               
organizations" to  help encourage  businesses to come  to Alaska.                                                               
Research and development dollars have  come to Alaska because the                                                               
"big UAS  industry" itself  has seen  a good  partnership between                                                               
the  state,  industry,  and  the  university,  and  it  has  help                                                               
incentivize  research and  development dollars  to come  north to                                                               
conduct operations.   In 2013,  the first ever  commercial beyond                                                               
visual line of sight UAS operation  happened in Alaska, and it is                                                               
on the  cutting edge" in  many ways of  this technology.   As the                                                               
industry grows,  "we hope to  grow" with  it and create  jobs for                                                               
Alaskans.    He opined  that  the  state has  actually  regulated                                                               
drones  in two  sectors, the  Alaska  Department of  Fish &  Game                                                               
banned the  use of drones  for same-day hunting, and  the fishing                                                               
industry banned  drone use for  spotting fish.  He  remarked that                                                               
other states are "doing this  kind of hodge podge" of regulations                                                               
and it has limited people.  There  are so many sets of rules from                                                               
the FAA and  its standards for safety are  "pretty gold standard"                                                               
and  any  additional  regulation  at the  state  level  would  be                                                               
prohibitive to growing the industry.                                                                                            
12:28:22 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  offered  that  oftentimes  good  industry                                                               
emerges and government  tends to get in the way,  which was a big                                                               
part of his  concern.  He asked whether private  industry has the                                                               
ability   to  invest   in  this   taskforce   in  writing   these                                                               
recommendations because  the state cannot just  accept funds, and                                                               
possibly  part of  the recommendations  could  be to  be able  to                                                               
accept funding for this subject.                                                                                                
12:29:09 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON referred  to Version D, page  1, lines 5-8,                                                               
which read as follows:                                                                                                          
          WHEREAS the  legislature has  provided significant                                                                  
     financial  support to  the Alaska  Center for  Unmanned                                                                    
     Aircraft  Systems  Integration  at  the  University  of                                                                    
     Alaska  Fairbanks  to  further  the  center's  research                                                                    
     initiatives and  to increase  its capabilities  for use                                                                    
     as a Federal Aviation Administration test site; and                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE   EDGMON    noted   that   the    legislature   is                                                               
substantially  cutting the  university's budget,  and he  said he                                                               
said that as a matter of fact and not as a partisan statement.                                                                  
MR. WHITT interjected deferring to Cathy Cahill.                                                                                
12:30:00 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  asked to finish his  question by inquiring                                                               
as to  whether the taskforce advocates  in any manner at  all, or                                                               
"are you just merely -- sort of an ad hoc advisory board."                                                                      
MR. WACKOWSKI replied  that "They have advocated for  us," and an                                                               
example  is  the  yearly  worldwide  trade  show  "AVUSI."    The                                                               
taskforce  coordinated "us  partnering" with  the university  and                                                               
the  industry   partners  based  in   Alaska,  to  man   a  booth                                                               
encouraging people  to come  to Alaska and  fly their  drones for                                                               
research and development.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON referred  to his  suggestion of  extending                                                               
the  expiration date  of the  taskforce, and  asked whether  that                                                               
would help with the continuity  of the taskforce for someone like                                                               
Mr. Wackowski.                                                                                                                  
MR.  WACKOWSKI  responded   that  he  is  one   of  two  industry                                                               
representatives,  and they  wholeheartedly support  extending the                                                               
taskforce beyond the two-year cycle.                                                                                            
12:31:22 PM                                                                                                                   
CATHY  CAHILL,  Director,  Alaska Center  for  Unmanned  Aircraft                                                               
Systems  Integration,  University  of Alaska  Fairbanks,  advised                                                               
that  in terms  of  funding,  there was  an  original $5  million                                                               
capital grant  from the  legislature to  allow the  Alaska Center                                                               
for Unmanned  Systems Integration  to compete in  the competition                                                               
for one of the FAA test  sites.  The center partnered with Hawaii                                                               
and Oregon  and formed  the Pan-Pacific  UAS Test  Range Complex,                                                               
and were awarded  the test site, and also was  awarded all of the                                                               
FAA  responsibility for  the site.   Originally,  she said,  they                                                               
believed the FAA would have  each state accept responsibility for                                                               
their  operations,  and  instead  the  FAA gave  it  all  to  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska Fairbanks  because  it  had a  long  track                                                               
record of unmanned aircraft operations.   She said that thanks to                                                               
various legislators,  a couple  of years ago  money was  put into                                                               
the university  operating budget for this  particular center, and                                                               
that is money it has  used to, further development of curriculum,                                                               
work the test sites, try  to bring industry into Alaska, supports                                                               
some  of its  basic operations.   It  was a  commitment from  the                                                               
legislature  to  the  university  that the  university  has  been                                                               
trying  to  protect  so  the   legislature's  desires  are  moved                                                               
12:33:29 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE asked  how  extending  the deadline  for                                                               
more continuity affects the center.                                                                                             
MS. CAHILL  commented that  the center  believes is  important to                                                               
pay  attention  to the  concerns  of  the  public, to  help  move                                                               
forward FAA  communications especially as  one of its  test sites                                                               
and  being  part  of  its  Center  for  Excellence  for  unmanned                                                               
aircraft operations.   In the  event the taskforce  was extended,                                                               
she explained  that it would  allow the center to  continue those                                                               
services over a  longer period of time without  going through the                                                               
renewable process every two years.                                                                                              
12:34:25 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  requested a progress report  as to research                                                               
and  development and  enticing the  industry to  come to  Alaska,                                                               
whether current  regulations are  still being developed,  and the                                                               
center's successes.                                                                                                             
MS. CAHILL responded that the  center is partnering with multiple                                                               
private  companies,   it  is  working  with   Mr.  Wackowski,  of                                                               
Fairweather,   Lockheed  Martin,   the   Arctic  Slope   Regional                                                               
Corporation,  and  other  companies   of  which  they  have  non-                                                               
disclosure agreements.   The  center is  also seeing  activity in                                                               
other ranges  of the  Pan-Pacific of which  seeds money  into the                                                               
Alaska program; it is working for  NASA at the Tillamook Range in                                                               
Oregon where  it recently had  a flight  from 70,000 feet  to the                                                               
surface; the center is working  hard on getting curriculum up and                                                               
going,  and  it is  a  pathway  for  former  military to  have  a                                                               
civilian  role -  this particular  center has  over 100  years of                                                               
combined  military  experience  in  its  operators.    The  major                                                               
challenge  is the  FAA; therefore,  the center  has been  working                                                               
hard through its test site  program and the Center of Excellence,                                                               
in working specifically  on Alaskan issues.  For  the center that                                                               
would  be, beyond  visual line  of sight,  which is  necessary in                                                               
order to,  for example,  fly the inner-(indisc.),  or fly  the C-                                                               
GCET towers, or  other operations.  The center is  trying to push                                                               
the  technologies and  move  it  forward so  it  can actually  be                                                               
employed  safely in  Alaska.   All  of its  operators are  manned                                                               
pilots  and concerned  about Alaska's  airspace,  the center  has                                                               
been working  with NASA  on the  UAS Traffic  Management Research                                                               
Project.  Currently, the regulations  on the federal side are the                                                               
center's biggest handicap, she reiterated.                                                                                      
12:37:16 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  asked  the center's  funding  sources  and                                                               
whether  it  receives  federal grants  or  fees  from  commercial                                                               
operations, or whether it is  solely involved in the state budget                                                               
for the program.                                                                                                                
MS.  CAHILL answered  that the  funding is  two-thirds to  three-                                                               
quarters federal and  private funds.  The center  is working hard                                                               
in  terms of  bringing in  that outside  funding and  that it  is                                                               
ramping up.                                                                                                                     
12:38:02 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  asked  whether  there  is  a  financial                                                               
picture  on the  funding sources  and how  it has  affected other                                                               
monies, and how the state used  this $5 million initial outlay as                                                               
leverage to attract more money.                                                                                                 
MS. CAHILL responded  that the center is coming up  on the end of                                                               
that  original five-year  grant  and it  will  compile a  summary                                                               
shortly  in  terms of  how  the  money  was  spent, what  it  has                                                               
accomplished in  getting the Pan-Pacific  UAS Test  Range Complex                                                               
up and running, getting students up and going, and so forth.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  responded   that  the  committee  would                                                               
appreciate receiving the final summary.                                                                                         
12:39:37 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE opened public testimony  on SCR 4.  After                                                               
ascertaining no one wished to  testify, closed the public hearing                                                               
on SCR 4.                                                                                                                       
12:40:13 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  commented that  a report to  the committee                                                               
would be good  to have as to  the funds it was able  to bring in,                                                               
its goals, the  successes, and challenges.   Usually, he related,                                                               
when timing  is set at one  to two years  it is put there  so the                                                               
legislature can receive those updates.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP   commented  that   he  does   support  the                                                               
taskforce and is  glad the state has it because  as a pilot, when                                                               
the drone industry first started  there were concerns about where                                                               
the drones would fly, how far, and  how high.  He related that it                                                               
is  an  industry he  actually  likes  because the  technology  is                                                               
incredible.   The taskforce,  he pointed out,  has served  a good                                                               
purpose  in the  recommendations  and regulations  in helping  to                                                               
control that  industry and moving  it forward, and he  would like                                                               
to see  the timeline for the  taskforce extended to a  minimum of                                                               
four years.                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  related that this  is a good example  of how                                                               
the  university can  create  new industries  in  Alaska, and  the                                                               
taskforce helped  make that happen  with the  seed money.   It is                                                               
also  an example  of the  necessity  of being  careful about  the                                                               
amount  of  money  the legislature  cuts  from  the  university's                                                               
budget  because sometimes  that is  research dollars  coming into                                                               
Alaska.   In  looking  forward, he  said, he  is  mindful of  the                                                               
state's fiscal  situation, as is  the resolution,  because people                                                               
are "doing it"  with no compensation on a volunteer  basis and it                                                               
has a zero-fiscal  note as a result.   There may be  times in the                                                               
future that  the legislature "just  needs to make a  little small                                                               
investment," he remarked.                                                                                                       
12:43:07 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  related that  he sees the  potential for                                                               
drones in  search and rescue  and protecting  Alaska's resources,                                                               
and  there is  huge  potential for  all of  the  citizens of  the                                                               
12:43:42 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  advised that  he  serves  on the  Board  of                                                               
Trustees for  the Alaska  (indisc.) School and  it is  looking at                                                               
unmanned aircraft  as part of its  apprenticeship program because                                                               
drones are used in the  utility world for safely inspecting power                                                               
lines and tower climbing.                                                                                                       
12:44:37 PM                                                                                                                   
The committee took an at-ease from 12:44 p.m. to 12:47 p.m.                                                                     
12:47:00 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  moved to adopt Conceptual  Amendment 1, on                                                               
SCR 4, Version D,  page 3, line 31.  He moved  to delete June 30,                                                               
2018, and insert June 30, 2020.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  noted that currently  it is slated  to end                                                               
on June 30th,  which is generally when the legislature  is not in                                                               
session.  He suggested the  timeline end while the legislature is                                                               
in session so it would not be a stagnating date.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  suggested   that  Conceptual  Amendment  1                                                               
simply  allow   the  legislature  to  address   it  through  that                                                               
legislative session, and at that  time the legislature would make                                                               
a motion to extend  the deadline again or just let  it lapse.  In                                                               
the event  the committee moved it  up any earlier it  would force                                                               
the legislature to  act on it too early in  the session, and said                                                               
he was  supportive of  leaving it  out there  in June  because it                                                               
gives the legislature the entire session to address the subject.                                                                
12:48:57 PM                                                                                                                   
There being no objection, Conceptual Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                   
12:49:10 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON moved  to report  SCR 4(STA),  Version 30-                                                               
LS0360\D,  as amended,  with individual  recommendations and  the                                                               
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being no objection, SCR 4(STA)                                                               
moved from the House Special Committee on Energy.                                                                               
12:52:28 PM                                                                                                                   
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee on Energy meeting was adjourned at 12:52 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SCR4 - Explanation of Changes A to D.pdf HAET 3/21/2017 12:00:00 PM