We have good news to share. Thursday, February 11, 2016 the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the House of Representatives passed the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, which preserves and strengthens the Special Rule for Model Aircraft.
We would like to thank Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina for their efforts to ensure that this important legislation protects the hobby of flying model aircraft.
The AIRR Act is critical to preserving our voluntary, community-based approach to managing the model aviation community. By strengthening the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, this bill will enhance safety across the recreational community and allow our members, who for decades have flown safely and responsibly within AMA’s community-based safety program, to continue enjoying our hobby without new burdensome regulations.
Among the bill’s provisions, it provides a clear definition of a community-based organization (CBO) and tasks the FAA with developing a process for recognizing qualifying CBOs, both long-overdue tasks for the agency. In addition, the bill makes clear that model aircraft can be used as a teaching tool for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as aeronautics.
The AIRR act is a strong bill that we are proud to support, but Congress isn’t done with it yet. The full House of Representatives still needs to vote on the AIRR Act and the Senate still needs to work on its own version of the bill. AMA has been actively advocating for our members’ interests on Capitol Hill, and we will continue working with Congress on additional changes that could further protect our hobby.
We may need your help in reaching out to members of Congress to urge them to support the Special Rules for Model Aircraft, which provides critical protections for the model aviation community. Remain vigilant and continue to monitor emails, social media, and www.modelaircraft.org/gov for more information and updates.