Gov. Relations Blog – AMA Officers, Clubs and Members updating and sharing the latest Federal, State and Local government UAS regulatory news pertaining to AMA aeromodeling.

  • 15 Jun 2017 5:38 PM | Andrew (Administrator)

    Government Relations Update – April 2017

    2017 is shaping up to be another busy year on the legislative front. At the federal and local level, some legislators are discussing bills that could harm our hobby. We take these legislative proposals seriously and wanted to share an update on our efforts to protect recreational flying. While there are some challenges ahead, with your help, we are confident the model aircraft hobby will continue to thrive for generations to come.


    Local Updates

    Over the last four months, AMA’s direct contact with policymakers and work with the media has helped defeat legislation in Washington (H.B. 1049), Montana (S.B. 170), and Hawaii (H.B. 314, S.B. 710, S.B. 632, S.B. 1051, and S.B. 454). The involvement of AMA members on the ground played a critical role in this effort. In Montana and Oklahoma, local members publicly voiced their concerns to elected officials, which was key to our success in pushing back against these bills.

    In other instances, we’ve worked to ensure proposed legislation includes exemptions for AMA members who fly safely and responsibly. In Utah, for example, our efforts throughout the legislative session led to S.B. 111 being removed from the governor’s desk in order for policymakers to go back and add an exemption for those operating under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft.


    Federal Updates

    At the federal level, Congress is working on a FAA reauthorization bill that will set the responsibilities and priorities for the agency. This legislation might include changes to Special Rule for Model Aircraft, also known as Section 336, which protects our members from new and overbearing regulations. As you may remember, AMA helped usher the Special Rule for Model Aircraft into law in 2012.

    AMA is already closely working with lawmakers to strengthen and protect the Special Rule for Model Aircraft in the next FAA reauthorization bill. And as we approach summer and fall, we will provide additional updates and progress reports on this effort.


    Working with the UAS Industry

    In tandem with our advocacy efforts, AMA is collaborating with UAS industry leaders to improve safety while also offering our expertise to governing bodies through committee work and task groups. These efforts are often behind the scenes, but are just as important for protecting our hobby, improving safety in the airspace, and addressing problematic legislation.

    Because AMA members have a strong safety record and respected community-based programming, AMA earned a seat on the Steering Committee of the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team (UAST). This team includes more than 40 industry leaders, manufacturers, and stakeholders who are working together on safety issues. In addition, AMA continues its work on the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee.


    How to Help

    AMA will always advocate and protect our longstanding hobby, and we encourage all our members to participate in the process. If legislation is introduced in your state or city, please let us know by contacting the Government Relations team at 765-287-1256. Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media, read the Model Aviation magazine and visiwww.modelaircraft.org/gov.


  • 19 May 2017 7:48 AM | Andrew (Administrator)


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 2017

    CONTACT: Allison Haley, media@modelaircraft.org, (202) 777-3509

    AMA Statement on Federal Court of Appeals Ruling on the FAA Registration Rule


    MUNCIE, Ind. – Rich Hanson, President of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), today issued the following statement on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruling in the case of John Taylor V. Michael Huerta, Federal Aviation Administration:


    “AMA is encouraged to see the Court affirm the strength of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, otherwise known as Section 336, under which our members operate. For decades, AMA members have registered their aircraft with AMA and have followed our community-based safety programming. It is our belief that a community-based program works better than a federally mandated program to manage the recreational community.


    “We have long held that federal registration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) makes sense at an appropriate threshold of weight, capability and other safety-related characteristics. However, federal registration shouldn’t apply at such a low threshold that it includes toys. It also shouldn’t burden those who have operated harmoniously within our communities for decades, and who already comply with AMA’s registration system.”


    The Academy of Model Aeronautics, founded in 1936, continues to be devoted to national airspace safety. It serves as the nation’s collective voice for approximately 200,000 modelers in 2,400 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Headquartered in Muncie, Indiana, AMA is a membership organization representing those who fly model aircraft for recreation and educational purposes. For more information, visit www.modelaircraft.org.


  • 27 Apr 2017 6:16 PM | Andrew (Administrator)

    How to Help with Local UAS Legislation:


    AMA district officers continue to monitor state and local governments for proposed UAS/drone legislation that would be detrimental to the AMA and aeromodeling. 


    In the past two years, an alarming number of municipalities have introduced ordinances and resolutions that prohibited or restricted UAS/model-aircraft flying in cities and towns within the district. 


    If you are made aware of proposed bills, ordinances or resolutions in your community, please let us know by contacting any of our AMA District Officers since its extremely difficult to monitor every local governing body in New England. 


    The sooner we can respond to proposed onerous legislation, the more likely we can voice objections and offer suggestions for revisions that will not conflict with federal law and regulations that AMA members comply with when flying UAS in the National Air Space (NAS). 



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