As the holidays approach, many people will be flying model aircraft, often referred to as “drones,” for the first time. Across the country, including in the Oklahoma Senate, legislators have been discussing new potential drone regulation around privacy and police enforcement issues. What many people don’t realize, however, is that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) already regulates the airspace, and new state-level legislation would be unnecessary and counter existing federal policy.
In the Sooner State, we have been working behind the scenes with the media, members on the ground, and industry leaders such as AUVSI to help educate the Oklahoma Senate before drafting laws that could inadvertently harm our community of safe and responsible model aviation pilots.
Here is an excerpt from an Op-Ed in The Oklahoman that outlines some of the concerns we are seeing across the country.
As the Oklahoma Senate considers more possible drone regulation, I urge senators to closely review the safety guidelines that AMA and FAA have already put in place. As the FAA already regulates the airspace and many newcomers are getting the education they need through AMA and other programs like Know Before You Fly, more legislation is unnecessary. I want everyone to experience the joy of flying like I have, but that will only be possible if hobbyists, including AMA members, are able to fly without over-regulation.