Chapter10: State UAS Review
Enforcement Unit) and tactical operations (Joint Special Operations Group).7 Notwith-
standing these operations, A labama has not enacted any substantive drone laws,8 though
state lawmakers adopted a resolution and created a task force to study drone systems in
Most recently, in 2016, the Alabama Senate and House of Representatives introduced
Senate Bill 378 and House Bill 471, respectively, to create the Alabama Unmanned Air-
craft Systems Act.10 e proposed law refreshed the legislative eﬀorts of 2014 and 2015 to
prohibit the use of a drone to aid or assist in ﬁshing or hunting or to intentionally harass
a person who is hunting or ﬁshing. e proposed laws also sought to disallow a variet y of
intentional misconduct with drones. For example, the laws would have prohibited drone
users from operating in particular places (e.g., public streets) in a way that interfered
with motorists, over prisons, and near and over a “designated facility,” which included
petroleum reﬁneries, chemical and rubber manufacturing facilities, rail yard facilities,
commercial ports and harbors, and drinking water treatment facilities.
In December 2013, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that the
FAA had selected Al aska as one of six congressionally mandated te st sites to guide research
programs designed to assist regulators’ eﬀorts to safely integrate drones into the national
airspace.11 Several months later, in May 2014, the FAA announced that the University
of Alaska’s unmanned aircraft system test site had become the second of six to become
operational. e FAA also granted the University of Alaska Fairbanks a 2- year certiﬁcate
of waiver or authorization (COA) authorizing ﬂights by an Aeryon Scout small UAS for
7 See generally Electronic Frontier Fou ndation, Gadsden, Alab ama Police Department Dro ne Records, www.eﬀ.org /doc-
ument/gadsden- alabama- police- dept; Chris Matysz czyk, Wh y Does a Two-Bi t Alabama Town Have Two Spy Drones?
, M ay 2, 2012, www.cnet.com /news/why- does- a- t wo- bit- alabam a- town- have- two- spy- drones/; Chris Schlag, e
New Privacy Bat tle: How the Expandin g Use of Drones Continues t o Erode Our Concept of Pr ivacy and Privacy R ights, 13 U.
P J. T. L . P’ 1, 10 (2013); Aerial Metric s, Gadsden, Alabama Police Department, http://uavairsupport.org/uav-
deployment/gadsden- alabama- police- department.
8 See generally Michael O der, Drones in Alabama Skies, July 22, 2015, WIAT.com, http://wiat.com/2015/07/22/
special- report- drones- in- alabama- sk ies/.
9 Alabam a Unmanned Aerial System s (UAS), www.alabama uastaskforce.org /. See also Brian Lyman, P roposed Limits on
Drone Use Tabled, M A , 2015 WLNR 2467487 (Jan. 26 2015). See also Tim Lockette, Few Rec-
ommendation s from Alabama Drone Task Force, A S, Jan. 8, 2015, at 2015 WLNR 694896 (the “group was
tasked wit h coming up with suggest ions to regulate the indus try by Jan. 15  . . . the group approved a dra ft letter
to Bentley with on ly two suggest ions: that authority over d rones be given to the Ala bama Department of Tran sportation,
and that the ta sk force continue meeting to advis e ALDOT”). See also Letter from Gov. Bently to d ated July 18, 2014,
www.ala bamauast askforce.org /uploads/4/3/7/9/4379169/requirments_for_st ates_use.pdf. See also Mike Cason, Tas k
Force Recomme nds DOT Review Use of Drones, H T , Jan. 11, 2015, at 10A. Executiv e Order Number 1,
http://governor.alabama.gov/newsro om/2015/01/executive- order- number-1-2/.
10 In HB 256— a n appropriations bill— t he Alaska Leg islature asked the s tate’s Department of Fish & Game t o evaluate
the use of unma nned aircraf t for aerial sur vey work and report ﬁnd ings in regard to sa fety and cost- savings in compari son
with the use of ma nned aircraft. See www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/29/Bills/HB0256Z.PDF, at 17.
11 F. A A., FAA Announces Alaska Test Site Begins Research Flights, ww w.faa.gov/news/press_rele ases/
news_stor y.cfm?newsId=16194. See also Chapter 5, supra.