AMA Meets with FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell

Last week, the AMA Government Affairs team had a promising meeting with FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell to discuss the new regulations on recreational UAS that are negatively impacting the model aviation hobby. This meeting was an important milestone in our work to protect AMA members and model aviation as the agency implements Section 349 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.

The most pressing issue facing modelers right now is the FAA’s policy to limit modelers to an arbitrary 400-foot altitude limit in controlled airspace. Based on our meeting this week, we will likely have a solution to the altitude restriction issue soon.

We used this week’s meeting to explain to Deputy Administrator Elwell that, although most of the modeling community can operate safely under 400 feet AGL, there are some cases in which the altitude limit actually makes our operations less safe. The industry’s number one goal is to keep our airspace safe, therefore the FAA has agreed to work with AMA to find a solution to this problem. AMA has been participating in a Safety Risk and Management Panel, with the FAA and stakeholders, to address the altitude restriction issue and find a process to grant operations above 400 feet.

Importantly, we discussed with the FAA the process by which AMA will be officially recognized as a community-based organization (CBO). Although most already unofficially recognize AMA as a leading CBO, this official process will position our organization to more effectively comply with the regulatory requirements and ultimately serve AMA members better. It will also help AMA help others who may be new to the hobby and still need to learn how to fly safely and responsibly.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the government affairs team at 765-287-1256 ext. 236 or We are always happy to chat with you.



AMA Government Affairs Team