DC Airspace is Already Heavily Regulated, Community-based Programming is Key to Safe and Responsible Flying
MUNCIE, Ind. —The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the world’s largest model aviation association, today released the following statement in response to President Obama’s comments calling for more regulation of unmanned aircraft after yesterday’s “drone” crash at the White House.
“While the White House ‘drone’ incident is sparking calls for more regulations, the fact is, more regulation isn’t the answer. The Washington, DC, airspace is some of the most heavily regulated airspace in the world, and all aircraft operations are currently prohibited in the vicinity of the White House. Despite the existing regulations, a quadcopter still made its way onto the White House lawn this week,” said AMA President Bob Brown.
“Community-based programming is the key to safe and responsible flying, as our organization’s 78-year history has shown. AMA has safety guidelines, best practices and operating principles that have allowed enthusiasts to operate their aircraft and safely use this technology for more than seven decades. When an incident occurs, it’s a rare day when one of AMA’s 175,000 members is involved.
“AMA has always believed that the best, and perhaps the only, way to successfully manage the recreational community is through a community-based set of safety guidelines and the combined efforts of the FAA and AMA. The FAA’s recent interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft has complicated our working relationship, but it is our hope that the agency will work with us to forge a path forward for the recreational community that finds common ground on the Interpretive Rule and leverages AMA’s deep expertise when it comes to safe and responsible flying.”
Just last week the AMA sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta offering the organization’s “expertise and knowledge in support of the FAA’s effort to create guidance for the operation of recreational sUAS in the NAS.” A copy of the letter is attached.
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.