As you may know, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are in the process of revising their own versions of legislation, known as FAA reauthorization, which includes the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. The Special Rule for Model Aircraft allows community-based organizations like the AMA to continue managing our community of hobbyists without unnecessary government regulation.
AMA’s Government Affairs team has been actively working to strengthen and protect the Special Rule since the start of this process several months ago. Our efforts have included face-to-face meetings with legislators on Capitol Hill, as well as with other allies in Washington. AMA President Rich Hanson also wrote an opinion article for The Hill newspaper last week. In addition, we have hired a successful law and lobbying firm to represent AMA’s interests and help shape legislation in the House and Senate.
Because of our work, the House version of FAA reauthorization, titled the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, strengthens the Special Rule for Model Aircraft and preserves our voluntary, community-based approached to managing the model aviation community. The House bill also provides a clear definition of a community-based organization (CBO) and tasks the FAA with developing a process for recognizing CBOs, both items we asked the House to include. In addition, the bill expands the protections of the Special Rule to allow model aircraft to be used as a teaching tool for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as aeronautics. We expect this bill to go to the House floor for a vote soon.
Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the Senate to release their version of FAA reauthorization. We anticipate this version of the bill will become available sometime this week and will keep you updated as this legislative process progresses.
FAA reauthorization continues to move quickly in Congress and there’s always the possibility that we may need your help to weigh in with members of Congress. Please continue to monitor your email, AMA’s Facebook and Twitter, as well as modelaircraft.org for updates.
The complete House bill (21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act ) can be read here.
AMA Government Affairs