The AMA Government Affairs team continues its work in Washington, D.C. to represent and protect our hobby. We want to share with you more information about our activities in recent weeks.
As the Senate prepares to focus on FAA reauthorization legislation, members of our team have conducted numerous meetings with senators and staff sharing the importance of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336). These Senate meetings have allowed us to build upon the positive language in the House bill to further strengthen and protect model aviation. As the language for Section 336 progresses, we will continue to meet with legislators and stakeholders to advocate for our members. If the Senate moves forward with a bill, we anticipate it may happen before the July 4th holiday. Once a Senate bill is introduced, it and the House bill will go to a conference committee who will reintroduced a combined bill for a final vote before September.
This year, we have seen fewer problematic bills proposed in state legislations, as state representatives are becoming familiar with our hobby and reach out to us for guidance. We have engaged with legislators in various states regarding eighteen proposed bills, most recently in Ohio. As introduced, House Bill 685 would further restrict the airspace and impose record keeping requirements that would burden unmanned aircraft system (UAS) retailers and operators. Our team has been in contact with the bill’s sponsor and will continue to engage with Ohio legislators as the bill goes through committee. We are optimistic that we will be able to shape this legislation, ultimately removing restrictions that could impact our members.
We are also excited to share news from the state of Pennsylvania. Our team was recently contacted by members in the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania area concerning a proposed ban on UAS in public parks. We immediately went to work and contacted the town council with our concerns. Fortunately, the council took the time to listen to our message and to local members that attended the meeting. The Chambersburg Borough Council voted unanimously to table the recommendation indefinitely and have no plans to address this matter in the future.
As always, we will continue our work to educate state and local legislators to protect model aviation. We appreciate all of our members for your support of these efforts. If legislation is introduced in your state or city, please let us know by contacting Government Affairs at 765-287-1256.
We will also provide additional updates and progress reports on the Special Rule for Model Aircraft in FAA reauthorization legislation. The most current information is available on our website at modelaircraft.org/gov and we encourage you to reach out with any questions. In the coming weeks, we may ask for your help to engage with your lawmakers on the importance of the hobby, so please continue to monitor your emails and social media.
AMA Government Affairs Team