In the near future, hobbyists and drone operators will no longer have to notify every airport within a five mile radius before an operation. When this provision is removed, it will be replaced by a new requirement that operators in controlled airspace will be required to seek authorization from towered airports, unless flying from a charted flying site. We successfully championed that if you are flying at an AMA flying field or sanctioned event, you can continue flying as you always have following AMA’s safety program and within the existing agreements your club or contest director has with nearby airports.
The FAA has begun contacting clubs within controlled airspace to make certain they have a written letter of agreement in place. While we encourage our clubs to work towards this LOA, it’s important to remember that legislation states that recreational users and ATC establish a mutually agreed upon operating procedure, so input should be coming from both the club and ATC. Click here to view our LOA template.
You can read Section 349 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 here. The provision relating to the letter of agreement reads:
(c) OPERATIONS AT FIXED SITES.—
“(1) OPERATING PROCEDURE REQUIRED.—Persons operating unmanned aircraft under subsection (a) from a fixed site within Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport, or a community-based organization conducting a sanctioned event within such airspace, shall make the location of the fixed site known to the Administrator and shall establish a mutually agreed upon operating procedure with the air traffic control facility.
AMA encourages all clubs to contact AMA HQ before signing any agreement with the FAA or air traffic control facility. You can reach our offices at 765-287-1256 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please monitor social media and www.modelaircraft.org/amagov for the latest information.