We want to congratulate the FAA on publishing the final small UAS rule today. The final rule will be highly beneficial to the industry overall, as it resolves many uncertainties in the law and creates an improved regulatory environment. We look forward to seeing widespread commercial and civil operations of unmanned aircraft take flight.
We are also pleased that the final rule codifies parts of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, therefore helping to maintain an exemption for model aircraft from burdensome regulation. The Special Rule was passed by Congress in 2012 and allows community-based organizations, like AMA, to lead risk mitigation and the development of appropriate safety guidelines for the operation of model aircraft devices.
Since 1936, AMA has been managing hobbyists across the country with safety guidelines and training programs. We are constantly evolving our programming to accommodate new technologies, new modeling disciplines, and a diverse community of more than 188,000 members that range from age 6 to 96. Our members have a stellar safety record due to these well-established educational programs.
We will continue to advocate for and protect our longstanding, fun and educational hobby of flying model aircraft. In the months ahead, it is critical that Congress strengthen and improve the Special Rule for Model Aircraft in the next FAA reauthorization bill. At the same time, we look forward to continuing our work with policymakers and industry partners to help increase educational opportunities, especially through the Know Before You Fly campaign.