Idaho Achieves Status as Second State in the Nation to Adopt Privacy Provisions for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Idaho becomes a national leader in recognizing the importance of supporting and developing unmanned aircraft systems, says Idaho Commerce.

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The passage of Idaho's legislation strengthens our existing breadth of expertise, our geographic assets, and our commitment to build our currently thriving UAS and aviation industry in Idaho.

Yesterday, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed Senate Bill 1134, which establishes privacy provisions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Idaho becomes a national leader in recognizing the importance of supporting and developing unmanned aircraft systems. With its vast airspace and technological capabilities, Idaho is uniquely positioned to play a primary role in the nation for conducting critical research, development and testing of UAS systems.

This legislation creates standards to ensure unmanned aircraft systems are restricted from conducting unwarranted surveillance or observation of individuals, dwellings or agricultural facilities absent a warrant or need for emergency response for safety, search and rescue, or controlled substance investigations. The legal framework created by the legislation enables Idaho to accelerate and advance development and testing of technologies and protocols that will allow for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system.

During its 2013 session, the Idaho Legislature also approved a concurrent resolution strongly encouraging the Idaho Department of Commerce and other key state, university and private-sector partners to submit a proposal on behalf of the State of Idaho to be selected as one of the Federal Aviation Administration’s six unmanned aircraft system test sites.

“Idaho is uniquely positioned to be a leader in unmanned aircraft systems and we are excited to support this industry in our great state," Commerce Director Jeffery Sayer. “The passage of Idaho's legislation strengthens our existing breadth of expertise, our geographic assets, and our commitment to build our currently thriving UAS and aviation industry in Idaho. We look forward to working with our industry partners to harness the opportunities the UAS industry creates."

Idaho is aggressively pursuing status as an FAA UAS Test Site and, through the Idaho Unmanned Aircraft Systems Working Group (Working Group) – a collaboration of public agencies, institutions of higher learning and private-sector companies – has been preparing for the FAA Screening Information Request since the spring of 2012.

In addition to preparing Idaho’s test site selection proposal, the Working Group would support the research, development and testing that would be conducted after the test site is awarded.

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Megan Ronk
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