FAA to AMA: Yes, You Can Fly Over 400 Feet

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) says the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has “recognized AMA’s role as a community-based organization” and thus confirmed that model aircraft are permitted to fly higher than 400 feet in altitude as long as the operator follows AMA’s safety guidelines and is not within three miles of an airport without permission.

According to an AMA government relations blog, the FAA has cleared up confusion surrounding altitude limits for AMA members; the group notes that the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act) maintains that an AMA member can fly over 400 feet as long as the model aircraft is kept within the line of sight, does not interfere with manned aircraft and is operated within AMA’s safety parameters.

In a July 7 letter, says AMA, the FAA confirmed the statute:

“…model aircraft may be flow consistently with Section 336 and agency guidelines at altitudes above 400 feet when following a community-based organization’s safety guidelines.”
“Community-based organizations, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics, may establish altitude limitations in their safety guidelines that exceed the FAA’s 400 AGL altitude recommendation.”

The complete blog can be found here.


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