Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Know Before you Fly


The use of unmanned aircraft systems(UAS), or drones,  is exploding for both citizens and businesses in Alaska. Prospective operators want to fly, and fly safely, but many don’t realize that, just because you can buy a UAS, doesn’t mean you can fly it anywhere, or for any purpose. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has partnered with the Know Before You Fly Campaign to help give users guidance for safe and responsible operation. AMA

Fly no higher than 400 feet

Currently small UAS may be operated for hobby and recreational purposes under specific safety guidelines as established by Congress. Small UAS flown for recreational purposes are typically known as model aircraft.

Under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, recreational UAS must be operated in accordance with several requirements, including a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Operators not operating within the safety program of a community-based organization should follow the FAA’s guidance here.

What are the safety guidelines for small UAS recreational users?

  • Follow community-based safety guidelines, as developed by organizations such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
  • Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.
  • Keep your sUAS in eyesight at all times, and use an observer to assist if needed.
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
  • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.

See more guidelines at KnowBeforeYouFly.org

small Unmanned Aircraft System Facts


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What are a commercial uses of UAS?

Any commercial use in connection with a business, including:

  • Selling photos or videos taken from a UAS
  • Using UAS to provide contract services, such as industrial equipment or factory inspection
  • Using UAS to provide professional services, such as security or telecommunications

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Arial Imagery by Stefan Hinman, all other graphics courtesy of Know Before You Fly