Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued a favorable decision in a lawsuit brought by Newton, Massachusetts resident Dr. Michael Singer. The Court ruled that a local ordinance severely restricting unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations in Newton is in violation of the federal government’s authority to regulate the airspace, also known as federal preemption. AMA congratulates Dr. Singer on this victory.
While the Court’s decision in this case only immediately impacts Newton, we believe it is an important bellwether that could cause local legislators to rethink their own UAS ordinances and laws. We will continue to work with local legislators to educate them on federal preemption issues, affirming the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) authority to regulate the airspace.
At the same time, AMA is currently working with the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC), which includes state and local governing bodies, and other industry stakeholders, on recommendations for state and local governments on safely incorporating UAS into our nation’s airspace. We urge all local legislators to hold off on any UAS regulation until these recommendations are complete.
If your city is considering new UAS regulations, we encourage you to reach out to AMA and let us know. We have worked alongside many local government officials to explain the federal preemption issue and to protect modelers right to fly, and would be happy to do this for your city.
As always, the most current information about our government relations efforts is available on our website www.modelaircraft.org/gov. Thank you for your continued support of AMA.
AMA Government Relations