AMA Opposes Legislation to Restrict Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Use in New York City



Academy of Model Aeronautics Opposes Legislation to Restrict Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Use in New York City

For Immediate Release: January 7, 2015
Marian Kerr

(202) 777-3509

NEW YORK – Today the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) sent letters to the New York City Council opposing proposed legislation to restrict unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights in New York City. At least one of the bills under consideration would completely ground the educational hobby of flying model aircraft within the city.

“In restricting where model aircraft can fly, your legislation would destroy a decades-old, family-oriented, and community-based recreational activity. More significantly, it will have a detrimental effect on the enthusiasm of New York City’s youth in their pursuit of aerospace, aviation, technology, engineering, and similar careers,” AMA Vice President Eric Williams wrote to Councilmember Dan Garodnick.

Currently, more than a dozen AMA-chartered flying clubs currently operate in and around New York City, including the Staten Island Radio Control Modelers, the Radio Control Society of Marine Park, and the Pennsylvania Avenue Radio Control Society, which flies at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, New York City’s first municipal airport. Chartered clubs adhere to AMA’s safety code, benefit from AMA’s expertise in flying site selection and operations, and carry liability insurance for club officers and site owners.

“These safe, well-run, and longstanding clubs would be grounded under your overly broad and restrictive legislation. Likewise, a child flying a toy helicopter in his or her own backyard would be considered a criminal under your bill,” Williams continued.

Williams also wrote to Councilmember Paul Vallone, noting that his proposed legislation and the proposed Garodnick bill both run counter to the intent of Congress.

“Your legislation runs counter to the intent of the U.S. Congress, which made clear in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that model aircraft should be exempt from regulation,” Williams wrote to both Councilmembers Vallone and Garodnick.

“As the United States’ community-based model aviation organization, and in the interests of safe recreational and educational UAV operations, AMA stands ready to work with New York City and all parties on recreational UAV educational programs and safety training. We do, however, oppose overly broad and restrictive legislation that curtails constructive model aviation in New York City as it is now practiced. Closing the door on the historical and continued contributions of model aviation as a positive recreational activity and an educational stepping stone for our youth would be regrettable,” Williams concludes the letters.

 AMA Letter to The Honorable Paul Vallone, New York City Councilmember

AMA Letter to The Honorable Daniel R. Garodnick, New York City Councilmember

About AMA: The Academy of Model Aeronautics, founded in 1936, continues to be devoted to national airspace safety. It serves as the nation’s collective voice for approximately 175,000 modelers in 2,400 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Headquartered in Muncie, Indiana, AMA is a membership organization representing those who fly model aircraft for recreation and educational purposes.