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Alaska Beat

Drone fans gather for meeting about aircraft's use in rugged Alaska

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published September 23, 2012

The booming business of building and flying drones -- the common name of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) -- may be particularly vital in Alaska, where there are plenty of jobs either too dangerous or too messy for normal manned aircraft.

So the timing may be perfect for this week's meeting, beginning Sept. 25, of the Alaska UAS Interest Group in Anchorage. A series of workshops, panel discussions and presentations will tackle the goals for drones in Alaska, according to a press release from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The meeting comes at a time when sales for UAS are skyrocketing globally to both the public and private sector. Global sales for UAS are around $6.6 billion a year and expected to nearly double over the next 10 years.

This year's gathering of the Alaska UAS Interest Group will include discussion of the role of UAS in the military, natural resource management, arctic science, and how aircraft will be affected by the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Learn more about how the act may designate portions of airspace from the Aleutian Islands to the North Slope for 24-hour UAV use "for research and commercial purposes" in Alaska Dispatch reporter Ben Anderson's story here.

The amendment was written by Alaska Sen. Mark Begich with the University of Alaska Unmanned Aircraft Program in mind

A video, seen below, demonstrates how drones can be used to monitor wildlife in the Arctic.

Registration for the meeting costs $175. More information, along with registration details, are available here.

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