Alaska announces support for Know Before You Fly campaign

By Ann Bailey | November 12, 2015

The state of Alaska is the latest entity to support the Know Before You Fly campaign.

The state is the 26th supporter of the initiative to promote safe and responsible UAS use. The Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International created Know Before You Fly in December 2014 in partnership with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

Alaska, a state known for its vast landscape with few roads, is assessable primarily by air for many communities not using the road system, said Alaska Gov. Bill Walker. That means it is likely that UAS will significantly impact the state and the lives and well-being of its people, Walker said.

“As Alaska has a great history and appreciation of aviation, it is appropriate that it be the first state to offer support to the vital Know Before You Fly campaign”  Walker wrote.

In October, the Airline Pilots Association announced it would support the campaign. Six organizations, including Helicopter Association International and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association expressed their support.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers football team has produced a video that features Eric Reid, a safety, urging people to operate UAS safely and to avoid flying them over stadiums. The video includes a link to the Know Before You Fly campaign web site (knowbeforeyouflyorg). The video is featured on the 49ers Levi Stadium scoreboard during each home game.

Bob Brown, Academy of Model Aeronautics president, said throughout the years his organization has worked with Alaska policymakers to educate the public about safety guidelines and best practices for recreational flyers.

“Alaska’s support of Know Before You Fly exemplifies how government and industry can work together to ensure the safety of our skies for all users – manned and unmanned.”

“They have a really good team that’s working to understand what the safety protocol should be,” said Mandee Milkulski,  AMA development director.