AMA Statement on FAA Drone Advisory Council, Educational Use of UAS

AMA applauds the FAA for making it clear that students can use UAS, including model aircraft, for educational purposes. For years, model aircraft have been used for science, technology, education and math (STEM) education without burdensome requirements on teachers and students. In recent years, AMA advocated that new regulations for small UAS not encumber this important educational process and, most recently, asked Congress to clarify educational use in the next FAA reauthorization bill.

We strongly believe that model aircraft serve as aviation’s stepping stone. Neil Armstrong, aviation pioneer Burt Rutan, and astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson—all lifelong AMA members—are just a few examples of this promising career path. We have no doubt that STEM education programs across the country will benefit from improved access to this technology.

In addition, we are pleased that the FAA has announced a new drone advisory committee to work on UAS integration alongside the agency. As AMA participated in both the UAS registration taskforce and the Micro UAS aviation rulemaking committee, we understand the need for a diverse set of voices to advise the agency and believe it is critical for the hobbyist community to be well-represented. We look forward to continuing our work with all stakeholders to ensure the safety of our skies.


  1. So the email to teachers in Pennsylvania is bogus:

    “My wife got this email today. So much for using multi-rotors to teach STEM: “Dear Pennsylvania school districts:

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Allegheny Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) in Pittsburgh, PA is contacting all school districts throughout our area of responsibility to provide information about the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS, commonly known as Drones). These activities include use a as a tool for instruction, or during outdoor activities, such as sporting events, practices, band performances and graduations.”

    1. The news may not have trickled down to the FSDO in Pittsburgh, PA. We want to encourage the use of modeling in classrooms. If your area schools continue to receive conflicting information, please contact us. We can help engage and clarify the issue.

    2. The part you’ve quoted here does not actually say anything. Just that your state’s FSDO is providing information on model RC aircraft use in STEM education. What said information is isn’t shown. I’ll exaggerate here, it could require every STEM teacher to have a stuffed parrot on their shoulder to use toy RC planes in school. I have no why of knowing since none of the actual information they provided was included in your post.

  2. WOW ! An FAA stamp-of-approval for what has been SUCCESSFULLY and SAFELY going on for years. A truly AMAZING and ASTONISHING feat. What an accomplishment for reinventing the wheel when there was already one.

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