The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021 has been passed by the House of Representatives and is expected to be passed by the Senate soon. AMA successfully got an educational provision written into the act, which permits operations as part of an educational program that is chartered by a recognized community-based organization (CBO), such as AMA or as an established JROTC program for education or research purposes. University-level UAS operations, such as University Model Aviation Student Clubs, will continue to be permitted within CBO programming or as a standalone UAS program. Additionally, a provision prohibiting federal agencies from using foreign-made UAS and UAS equipment was removed from the act.
These legislative protections are a great win for UAS STE(A)M curriculum, because it allows AMA to continue its educational UAS programming that has been in place for decades. AMA wants to offer a special thanks to the Armed Services Committee, the Senate Commerce Committee, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as well as to the congressional members and staff who worked to finalize the Conference Committee Report.
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