It has been a busy start to the new year for the AMA Government Affairs team. Here is a look at some of our recent work at the federal, state and local level to advocate for and protect our hobby.
Federal Government Relations
At this year’s AMA Expo West in Ontario, California, representatives of AMA and the FAA Safety Team led a panel on current regulations of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). AMA President Rich Hanson, as well as Government Affairs team members Chad Budreau and Tyler Dobbs, participated in the panel along with Ken Kelly from the FAA’s Airworthiness FPM/POC sUAS Educational Outreach Safety Promotion Program Office.
In addition, earlier this month, we participated in three Drone Advisory Committee task group meetings to finalize the committee’s long-term goals and work to issue a final report of their findings and recommendations to the FAA.
State and Local Government Relations
At the local level, we continue to monitor legislation that could negatively affect our hobby. We worked with lawmakers in Pitt County, NC and Washington state on legislative language to protect our members from potentially harmful laws. In addition, we worked alongside clubs with flying sites located at U.S. Air Force bases in Arizona and Texas to discuss possible waivers to Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) that would allow AMA members to continue flying safely at these sites, as they have for many years.
It is important to note that, since the start of 2018, over 130 UAS-related bills have been introduced at the state level. Although most of these do not appear to be problematic for AMA members, we are actively tracking each one to ensure our members and our beloved hobby is protected nationwide.
Of the 130 proposed bills, there are currently 13 we consider especially troubling. In each of these cases, we are actively engaged with legislators to improve the proposed bill. At this early stage, we do not feel it is necessary for AMA members to get involved. However, the voice of our members is always important to protect our ability to fly model aircraft without burdensome restrictions. That’s why we ask members to remain engaged and monitor your emails, social media, and www.modelaircraft.org/gov for new information and ways you might get involved in these issues.
As always, thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
AMA Government Relations Team