2024 FAA Reauthorization Bill Passed


On Thursday, May 16th, 2024, the President signed the FAA’s Reauthorization Bill into law.

AMA began working with Congress as soon as the last bill passed in 2018, advocating to make much needed changes to the law. Although the new bill is not perfect, AMA is happy that we were able to address many of the challenges facing the hobby. Below is a summary of the section on recreational UAS operations:

  • Maintains the 400-foot altitude restriction but now allows for a process to request flights above 400 feet in Class G airspace.
  • Requires that the FAA coordinate with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), like AMA, to develop and implement an approval process for operations in controlled airspace above the UAS facility map altitudes.
  • Language is included that specifically allows for above 400-foot operations at Class G sites with authorization from the Administrator.
  • Better clarifies that Large Model Aircraft (LMA) operations are permitted at fixed sites in both controlled and uncontrolled airspace.
  • Requires the FAA to prioritize the FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA) review and adjudication processes.
  • Allows for elementary, secondary, and institutions of higher education to all fly under recreational rules.
  • Extends Know Before You Fly Campaign funding through 2028.

Although we don’t expect any major issues, there are other portions of the bill that will impact the hobby. Because of the uncertainty, AMA will keep a close eye on the FAA’s interpretation and implementation of the following:

  • Explore if network Remote ID solutions can satisfy the existing Remote ID rule.
  • Develop the Airspace Modernization Office within the FAA to streamline Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) integration.
  • The Administrator shall establish a process to approve and publicly disseminate fixed flying sites.

It’s important to remember that these changes will not be immediate. However, AMA has already begun working with the FAA on processes to obtain approval over 400’ AGL in uncontrolled airspace and above the UAS Facility Map altitude in controlled airspace. AMA will be sure to keep members informed of any new processes along the way.

AMA will continue to advocate on behalf of the modeling community to streamline processes and reduce many of the burdens facing the hobby.

To remain current with the most recent government-related news, regularly visit the AMA Government Affairs blog. If you have any further questions or concerns, contact the Government Affairs department at (765) 287-1256 or amagov@modelaircraft.org.