Debra Lynne / Tanana Chiefs Conference

Research conducted by the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the University of Alaska Fairbanks demonstrates the value of small, unmanned aircraft to monitor wildfire impacts and other environmental change in rural Alaska. KUAC’s Mary Auld reports.

General Atomics

Yesterday’s announcement by Alaska’s Congressional delegation that an Army drone unit will be stationed at Ft. Wainwright, has yet to be confirmed by Ft. Wainwright officials, but as KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the Fairbanks post is ready for the new assignment.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough wants to set up a special area for companies to develop and test drone aircraft for the military.  As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the project would capitalize on recent year’s state laws aimed at helping woo the defense industry and spur economic development.

National Parks Prohibiting UAVs

Jun 25, 2014
Greg Walker / University of Alaska Fairbanks

A new National Park Service policy prohibits the use of unmanned aircraft on parks property. The policy is intended to give the agency time to assess the risks and benefits of allowing UAVs on parks land.

On June 20th, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis issued a memorandum directing park superintendents to ban the use of unmanned aircraft in national parks. A spokesman for the parks service, Jeffrey Olson, says the unmanned aerial vehicles being used in national parks are primarily owned by hobbyists for recreation.

First Flight

May 6, 2014
Dan Bross / KUAC

The University of Alaska’s status as a Federal Aviation Administration unmanned aerial vehicle test center is official. Events in Anchorage and Fairbanks marked the start of operations Monday.  KUAC’s Dan Bross reports.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

The announcement that a University of Alaska lead consortium will run a Federal Aviation Administration unmanned aerial vehicle test center has triggered anticipation of new industry and income for Alaska and partner states Oregon and Hawaii.  Currently only the military and specially certified public and private entities can legally operate drones in the United States. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the UA testing program is among 6 across the country charged with helping integrate unmanned aircraft into national airspace.