WHEREAS, the use of unmanned aerial technology, including Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV), is growing in both the governmental and private sectors;
WHEREAS, the airspace of the State of Alabama is governed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which maintains that flight safety applies equally to manned and unmanned aircraft, including UAV and UAS, regardless of the size of the drone in regulated airspace;
WHEREAS, to further the State of Alabama’s potential use of drone aircraft, the Governor established, by letter, the Drone Task Force, to study and make recommendations to the Governor on issues related to UAVs and UASs;
WHEREAS, the Drone Task Force presented recommendations to the Governor on January 15, 2015, as directed;
WHEREAS, UAS platforms include uses in the public and private operations, such as disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, worker safety, and increased efficiency;
WHEREAS, expanded use of unmanned aerial technology without adequate regulations, policies, and procedures gives rise to privacy and civil liberty concerns; and
WHEREAS, the continued study and coordination of unmanned aerial technology is recommended to further the state’s interests and protect the citizens of the state.
NOW, THEREFORE, based upon these considerations, and for other good and valid reasons, I, Robert Bentley, Governor of the State of Alabama, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Alabama, do hereby officially place authority over all unmanned aerial technology under the Bureau of Aeronautics of the Alabama Department of Transportation (“the Bureau”), and establish the Unmanned Aerial Systems Council (“UAS Council”) to serve as an advisory group to the Bureau of Aeronautics.
BE IT ORDERED, that the UAS Council shall be comprised of the following members, or their designees:
- The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Alabama
- The Commissioner, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries
- The Commissioner, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
- The Director, Alabama Department of Transportation
- The Secretary, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
- One appointment from an Airport Authority by the Governor
- One appointment from the State House of Representatives by the Speaker of the House
- One appointment from the State Senate by the President Pro Tem of the Senate
BE IT FURTHER ORDERED, that the Bureau, in conjunction with the UAS Council, shall analyze and respond to all matters related to unmanned aerial technology.
BE IT FURTHER ORDERED, that the UAS Council shall meet at least quarterly and otherwise at the call of the chair, who shall be the Director of the Department of Transportation, and members may participate in meetings via telephonic or video conferencing.
BE IT FURTHER ORDERED, that this Executive Order shall become effective immediately and shall remain in effect until such time it is modified or rescinded by the Governor.
DONE THIS 23rd day of January, 2015.
John H. Merrill
Secretary of State
Provided by the Office of the Governor of Alabama | governor.alabama.gov