Following the release of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) proposed rules for small unmanned aerial system (UAS) operations, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is backing the FAA's decision to not include model aircraft in the regulations.
According to the FAA, the new rules would not apply to recreational, model aircraft operations. However, the agency says, these hobbyist operators must continue to satisfy all of the criteria specified in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95, including the stipulation that they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.
In a statement, AMA says flying model aircraft and flying small UAS “are two very different activities.”
Therefore, the organization explains, the proposed regulations “should not apply to the long-standing, educational hobby of flying model aircraft” – which “Congress appropriately made clear in 2012 [when it said] that model aircraft should be exempt from federal regulation.”
“AMA’s 78 years of experience in managing and overseeing the operation of model aircraft shows that a voluntary, community-based approach to managing this activity is far more effective in ensuring enthusiasts operate their aircraft in a safe and responsible manner.”
In December, AMA, along with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Small UAV Coalition, joined the FAA in launching the Know Before You Fly safety campaign.
“This educational outreach has been widely accepted and heralded as a beneficial and effective means of educating the new sUAS enthusiasts and addressing inappropriate and improper use of this technology,” AMA explains.
“AMA is committed to preserving the safe, enjoyable and educational hobby of flying model aircraft – without the need for unnecessary, onerous and burdensome government regulations.’