Sunday, February 15 – In a telephonic press conference held today, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced FAA’s long-awaited proposed regulation for the operation of commercial small unmanned aircraft in the national airspace.
As stated in the FAA press release, the “proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.”
“The new rules would not apply to model aircraft. However, model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all of the criteria specified in Sec. 336 of Public Law 112-95 (Special Rule for Model Aircraft), including the stipulation that they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.”
“The public will be able to comment on the proposed regulation for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, which can be found at, www.regulations.gov.”
In response to the announcement, the AMA published the following statement…
FAA Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
MUNCIE, Ind. — The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the world’s largest model aviation association, today released the following statement in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“While we have not yet fully reviewed the proposed rule, we are pleased to see the FAA has concluded that regulations relating to the commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) should not apply to the longstanding, educational hobby of flying model aircraft. These are two very different activities, and Congress appropriately made clear in 2012 that model aircraft should be exempt from federal regulation. The AMA will review the proposed rule in more detail to ensure that the rights and privileges of the model aircraft community are upheld.
“As the nationwide community-based organization for the recreational and personal use of sUAS, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has created relevant 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.
“AMA’s 78 years of experience in managing and overseeing the operation of model aircraft shows that a voluntary, community-based approach to managing this activity is far more effective in ensuring enthusiasts operate their aircraft in a safe and responsible manner.
“To this end the AMA has joined with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the Small UAV Coalition and other members of the small UAS and hobby industry in launching the “Know Before You Fly” campaign. This educational outreach has been widely accepted and heralded as a beneficial and effective means of educating the new sUAS enthusiasts and addressing inappropriate or improper use of this technology.
“AMA is committed to preserving the safe, enjoyable and educational hobby of flying model aircraft – without the need for unnecessary, onerous and burdensome government regulations.”
Click the links below to read the FAA documents released in conjunction with this announcement…