Governor's Alabama Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Task Force

On July 18, 2014, former Governor Robert Bentley established the Alabama Unmanned Aerial Systems Task Force.

The Honorable John McMillan, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, serves as the Chair of the task force. John Cooper, Director of the Alabama Department of Transportation, and Dr. John Eagerton, Chief of the ALDOT Aeronautics Bureau, also serve on the task force.

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Former Governor Bentley requested that the Alabama UAS Task Force accomplish the following goals and objectives:

  1. Study the requirements for operating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) by agencies of the State of Alabama, and the process for approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This will include all necessary steps to obtain a Certificate of Waiver Authorization (COA), which is required by FAA and must be approved in advance of UAV/UAS operations.
  2. Take the necessary steps to apply online for a COA as a public entity to fly UAS in U.S. airspace; this will require each COA or state agency to determine the potential use by a state agency for a defined block of airspace, which will include special provisions unique to the proposed state operations. It is contemplated that these special provisions would include the flight of UASs/UAVs only under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) during daylight hours.
  3. Meet with stakeholders. Organize and conduct meetings with the Governor's staff, key legislators, and outside stakeholders from groups they represent, which at a minimum, includes agriculture, conservation, and law enforcement interests.
  4. Recommend a statewide plan for use of UAVs by the State of Alabama. This plan must be (1) science based, data driven, and in compliance with anticipated FAA regulations to be promulgated in early 2015; and (2) in the best interest of the State of Alabama, taking into account the privacy interest of Alabama citizens. The task force is to include in its recommendation any proposed legislation necessary to implement such plan prior to the beginning of the 2015 Legislative Session.

The Task Force was to submit its statewide UAV/UAS management plan to the Governor by January 15, 2015.


The director and key staff of the Alabama Department of Transportation has been given the task of investigating several particular areas of interest associated with the operation of UAVs/UASs within the State of Alabama. UAS Task Force Chair McMillan has asked ALDOT to address the following areas:

  1. Transportation Engineering and Construction
  2. Photogrammetry and Aerial Mapping
  3. Public Utilities

With the assistance of the ALDOT Aeronautics Bureau, its staff will also be facilitating coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


ALDOT will be hosting a public meeting to solicit stakeholder input regarding the following areas of interest that the Alabama Unmanned Aerial Systems Task Force will be examining and reporting to the Governor on:

  1. Transportation Engineering and Construction
  2. Photogrammetry and Aerial Mapping
  3. Public Utilities

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 17, 2014 in Conference Room A beginning at 9:00 a.m. Conference Room A is
located on the ground floor of the Administrative Wing of the ALDOT main office complex at 1409 Coliseum Boulevard, Montgomery,
Alabama 36130.

Those wishing to attend this meeting must sign up in advance with your contact information to assure that adequate meeting space and time is provided.

Individuals attending the meeting will be given five (5) minutes to make a statement to the ALDOT staff. Attendees also are encouraged to submit their comments in writing. Written comments (double spaced) and any supporting documentation submitted by an attendee should not exceed twenty (20) pages. Those unable to attend this meeting may also submit written comments. Statements and written comments should focus on the opportunties for UAS application for (1) Transportation engineering and construction; (2) Photogrammetry and aerial mapping; and (3) Public utilities. On the written comments, please indicate the primary area of interest the statement addresses. Written comments and supporting documents may be submitted at the meeting or sent to the following address:

Alabama Department of Transportation
Aeronautics Bureau
1409 Coliseum Boulevard
Montgomery, Alabama 36130

Send Comments and emails to "Alabama UAS Task Force"