Our Message is Being Heard

Over the past two weeks tens of thousands of AMA members and model aviation supporters have written over 80,000 individual letters to members of Congress expressing their concern regarding FAA’s intent to regulate model aircraft, and there are clear signs that our message is being heard. Scores of Congressmen have responded to their constituents with letters of understanding and support.  Below are excerpts from a few of the letters sent from Capitol Hill. Though an amendment protecting model aviation has not yet been introduced into H.R. 658, we now have several supporters in the House and at this point the legislative process is taking its course. Last Thursday the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act was sent to the House Committee on the Judiciary and is expected to return to the floor next week. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees, but at this point we are seeing positive movement in the House of Representatives and we are optimistic that Congress will act to protect model aviation from unnecessary and potentially debilitating federal regulation.

-Rich Hanson, AMA Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Representative

“…As an avid outdoorsman, I understand the importance of recreational activities that simultaneously allow people to enjoy the outdoors and participate in an educational activity like model aviation. …Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should similar legislation come before me in the Senate.”

-John Boozman (R), Senator from Arkansas

“…Like you, I appreciate the cultural impact of model aviation as well as its contribution to our economy. I also believe that too many government mandates, regulations and controls are slowly suppressing our economy and our personal liberty.”

-Ed Whitfield (R), Representative from Kentucky

“…Rest assured I will closely monitor this issue as Congress works to finalize this legislation.”

-David Vitter (R), Senator from Louisiana

“…Model aeronautics is a long tenured interest of many Americans and is a cherished recreational activity. Not only is model aviation a safe operation but is it also educational. Model aeronautics aides in teaching people of all ages the valuable skills of technology, physics, engineering, aeronautics and math. Model aviation provides an opportunity for individuals and families to learn about aeronautics while enjoying the outdoors. I believe that we need to foster American recreational activities, not over-regulate them.”

-Scott Garrett (R), Representative from New Jersey

“…Constructing and flying motorized aircraft can help stir scientific curiosity in our youth.”

-Richard J. Durbin (D), Representative from Illinois

“…accommodations can be made for those who wish to participate in a safe recreational activity.”

-Bill Nelson (D), Senator from Florida

“…I share your concerns over unnecessary regulations on model airplanes.”

-Sherrod Brown (D), Senator from Ohio

“…Like you, I support removing over burdensome regulations and eliminating unnecessary federal programs…While the House continues to consider its own version of legislation to reauthorize the FAA in H.R. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011, please be assured I will continue to work against undue federal regulations…”

-Bill Owens (D), Representative from New York

“…I understand your concerns regarding the exemption of model airplanes from federal regulations. I supported Senator Jim Inhofe’s amendment to the Senate-passed version of this bill which would exempt model and recreational use airplanes…

-Lamar Alexander (R), Senator from Tennessee

…The Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization and Reform Act has been referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the House Committee on the Judiciary. I am currently a Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary. I will keep your views in mind regarding the FAA regulation of model aviation should this legislation be brought before the full Committee.”

-Mike Pence (R), Representative from Indiana

“…You raised some interesting and insightful points regarding the exemption of model airplanes from federal regulations…Should the bill be considered in the House of Representatives, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.”

-Paul Ryan (R), Representative from Wisconsin

“…America did not become prosperous through firm government control over our daily lives. Our strength has always stemmed from the ability of individuals to make choices free from government interference.”

-Tom Price (R), Representative from Georgia

“…S. 223 also addressed many concerns of model aviation enthusiasts, like you, by exempting the operation of model airplanes from burdensome federal regulations. For years, model hobbyists and recreationalists alike have maintained impeccable safety records with minimal federal interference. I’m supportive of your efforts to ensure that model aviation supporters are free of overly burdensome, ineffective or obsolete regulations.”

-Richard Blumenthal (D), Senator from Connecticut

“…As the Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee, it is not our intent that model airplanes be caught up in bureaucracy and FAA regulation. It is my understanding that the FAA has issued guidance in the past on this and, as the bill moves through the legislative process, I will work to clarify that model airplanes not be subject to regulation.”

-Tom Petri (R), Representative from Wisconsin

“…I share your concern about the regulation of model aircraft. For thousands of people in Ohio and across America, model aviation is an educational hobby that enables adults and children to experience and enjoy the wonders of flight.”

-Rob Portman (R), Senator from Ohio

“…I support common-sense policies that relieve citizens of excessive and unnecessary regulation.”

-John Cornyn (R), Senator from Texas

“…I share your concerns that these new proposals carry unintended consequences for model airplanes and the hobbyists who enjoy them. It is important that bureaucrats in Washington understand how the rules they create here affect Americans everywhere. Unfortunately, I have found that this is not always the case and we need people like you to stand up and voice your opinions.”

-Richard Nugent (R), Representative from Florida

“…I support the amendment to allow model aviation to remain a recreational activity.”

-John Boehner (R), Speaker of the House from Ohio