Alaska Drone Laws from Attorney & Pilot

NOTICE: This article is for information purposes only!  This article is ONLY for state laws that are DRONE specific. Local laws and “aircraft” related laws could potentially apply and were outside of the focus of this article. It might NOT be up to date. You should seek out a competent attorney licensed in the state you are interested in before operating.

Researching? I created a page on Drone Laws(federal, state, & international) and another on only US drone laws by state.

 Current as of February 21, 2017

Alaska’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Legislative Task Force (UASLTF)

Alaska Drone Operator Safety and Privacy Guidelines

FYI Alaska’s info has been hard to work with. HB 255 became law but it was difficult to use their website to even find some of the sections below.

You also might want to check out the Alaska State Parks as some of them prohibit drones (like Chugach state park). The park’s website said:

 11 AAC 20.020. Aircraft (a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, the use of aircraft is allowed in Chugach State Park on Bold airstrip located at the inlet of Eklutna Lake. (b) The use of aircraft for the purpose of practice landing is prohibited.

11 AAC 20.990. Definitions As used in this chapter, (2) “aircraft” means any motorized device under 12,500 pounds gross weight that is used or intended for flight or movement of people or goods in the air;

which means the park is reading the term aircraft broadly to apply to drones.

Alaska State Statutes Sec. 14.40.082. Unmanned aircraft system training.

The University of Alaska may establish a training program in the operation of unmanned aircraft systems.


Alaska State Statutes Sec. 18.65.900. Use of unmanned aircraft systems.

Except as provided in AS 18.65.900 – 18.65.909, a law enforcement agency may not use an unmanned aircraft system.

Alaska State Statutes Sec. 18.65.901. Operational requirements for unmanned aircraft systems.

(a) A law enforcement agency shall adopt procedures for the use of unmanned aircraft systems. The procedures adopted under this section must require, at a minimum, that the law enforcement agency

(1) obtain any authorization, permit, or certificate required by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate the unmanned aircraft system;
(2) allow the unmanned aircraft system to be operated only by unmanned aircraft system pilots and crew members who have been trained and certified in the operation of the unmanned aircraft system and only under the supervision of officials trained in the policies and procedures governing the use of the unmanned aircraft system;
(3) provide that the flight of an unmanned aircraft system be approved by the commissioner or deputy commissioner of public safety or the chief administrative officer of the law enforcement agency or the officer’s designee;
(4) ensure that the flight of an unmanned aircraft system be for a public purpose;
(5) maintain a record of each flight, including the time, date, and purpose of the flight, and the identity of the authorizing official;
(6) establish an auditable flight record system, including the documentation of a change in a flight time record;
(7) establish a method for notifying the public of the operation of an unmanned aircraft system, unless notifying the public would endanger the safety of a person;
(8) provide for community involvement in the development of the policies required in this section, including the consideration of public comment.

(b) In this section, “chief administrative officer” has the meaning given in AS 18.65.290.

Alaska State Statutes Sec. 18.65.902. Use of an unmanned aircraft system by a law enforcement agency.

A law enforcement agency may use an unmanned aircraft system
(1) to gather evidence in a criminal investigation

(A) under the express terms of a search warrant issued by a court; or
(B) in accordance with a judicially recognized exception to the warrant requirement; or

(2) in situations and for uses not involving a criminal investigation and not intended to lead to the production of evidence for use in a criminal investigation, if the use does not constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy and is consistent with the procedures in AS 18.65.901.Alaska State Statutes Sec. 18.65.903. Retention of images.

(a) A law enforcement agency may not retain images captured by an unmanned aircraft system unless retention of the image is required

(1) as part of an investigation or prosecution;
(2) for training purposes; or
(3) by federal or state law or by municipal ordinance.

(b) Images that may not be retained under (a) of this section are confidential and are not public records under AS 40.25.100 – 40.25.295.

Alaska State Statutes Sec. 18.65.909. Definitions.

In AS 18.65.900 – 18.65.909,
(1) “law enforcement agency” has the meaning given in AS 12.36.090;
(2) “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft that is operated without direct human intervention from inside or on the aircraft and includes the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications, and navigation equipment necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft;
(3) “unmanned aircraft system crew member” means a person other than an unmanned aircraft system pilot who is assigned to duties related to an unmanned aircraft system during flight;
(4) “unmanned aircraft system pilot” means a person exercising control over an unmanned aircraft system during flight.

Alaska State Statutes Sec. 29.10.200. Limitation of home rule powers.

Only the following provisions of this title apply to home rule municipalities as prohibitions on acting otherwise than as provided. These provisions supersede existing and prohibit future home rule enactments that provide otherwise:

. . .  (41) AS 29.35.146 (images captured by unmanned aircraft systems);

Alaska State Statutes Sec. 29.35.146. Regulation of unmanned aircraft systems.

(a) A municipality may not adopt an ordinance that permits the release of images captured by an unmanned aircraft system in a manner inconsistent with AS 18.65.903.

(b) In this section, “unmanned aircraft system” has the meaning given in AS 18.65.909.