M U N C I E, I N – Sen. James Inhofe, OK, successfully sponsored S.223 in the Senate yesterday with an amendment specifying a “Special Rule For Model Aircraft” that provides an exemption from regulation for model aircraft operating within the following parameters:
Flown specifically for recreational, sport, competition, or academic purposes; Operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;
Limited to 55 pounds or less unless certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program currently administered by a community-based organization.
“On behalf of our 140,000 members I want to thank Senator Inhofe for helping to preserve model aviation,” said Academy of Model Aeronautics President Dave Mathewson. “Aeromodeling is an exceptional family recreational and education activity that has traditionally been a stepping stone for our children to careers in aviation and aerospace. With the Senator’s help we hope model aviation will continue to help provide that impetus for future generations of engineers, pilots and astronauts.”
Mathewson also thanked Chairman Jay Rockefeller and Ranking Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson for shepherding the bill and the model aircraft provision through the Senate. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives, which is expected to rule on the matter in the very near future.
AMA has contended that the purpose and operation of model aircraft flown for recreational purposes is uniquely different from the operation of the growing number of commercial small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for which the FAA is drafting regulation. Aeromodelers operating under AMA’s guidelines have earned a reputation of being one of the safest, if not the safest users of the National Airspace System. This exemplary safety record spans more than 75 years.
The Academy of Aeronautics, founded in 1936, charters 2,400 clubs across the country, sanctioning more than 2,000 events and competitions as a member of the National Aeronautic Association. It is dedicated to promoting aeromodeling as a recreational, competitive and academic pursuit.