Conference Committee to Consider Language to Protect Model Aircraft

The political process of creating legislation is more of an art than a science, and the fact that H.R. 658 does not include an exemption for model aviation (MA) does not necessarily mean there wasn’t support for such an amendment. Quite honestly there is a significant amount of backing in the House for our issues, and numerous Representatives have come forward with pledges of support and offers to assist in protecting MA from onerous regulation.

In the days leading to the passage of the House FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act there was a considerable amount of discussion regarding language for an amendment to the bill. An agreement on the proposed language was a little more difficult to achieve in the House than in the Senate, and we were unable to settle on the exact verbiage before the Bill was sent to the floor for a vote. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In the legislative process it’s not unusual for there to be significant differences between the House and Senate versions of any particular bill. In such cases the two versions of the Bill are referred to a joint Conference Committee to iron out the differences. Though we would have preferred to have an amendment in the House that mirrored the language in the Senate, the good news is we still have an amendment in the process and there doesn’t appear to be any major issues challenging consideration for an exemption.

Of course in the political process there’s never any guarantees. Nevertheless, we are hopeful the Conference Committee will include language in the final bill that will allow us to continue to enjoy modeling as we do today.

-Rich Hanson, AMA Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Representative