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We Are Weeks Away from the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Most everyone should be aware by now that the FAA is working on developing new regulation aimed at enabling the operation of commercial and public use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the national airspace system (NAS). FAA intends to include criteria for recreational UAS (model aircraft) in the new regulation and indications are that this criteria will be significantly more restrictive than the guidelines established in the current advisory circular, AC 91-57. However, the regulation is also expected to include a provision that will allow community based organizations such as the AMA to submit their own set of standards for model aircraft (MA) operations, and if accepted and adopted by the FAA can be used as an alternative means of complying with the UAS regulation. AMA has a workgroup in place that has been developing just such a set of standards, and we are optimistic that these standards will allow aeromodeling operations to continue in the future in much the same way as they have in the past.

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It Depends Upon Who You Talk To

It appears political posturing is ramping up as the stalled FAA Reauthorization Bill is once again headed toward a shutdown of the FAA. In a recent meeting of the Aero Club of Washington, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate’s transportation committee, accused the GOP of stubbornly holding up the bill in favor of one airline’s fight to stave off the unionization of its work force, and deemed it unlikely that Congress would resolve the bitter deadlock over long-term federal funding for aviation this year.

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Noise Ordinance Repealed For One Community

Score One for Model Aviation – The Mat-Su Borough Assembly in Wasilla, AK recently voted unanimously to repeal a section of its code that restricted the sound limit for model aircraft. The limit set in 2008 was unrealisticly low and effectively eliminated MA from all residential and noise-sensitive areas. Click the following link and read the article in the “Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.”

Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman Article

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FAA Works To Get Rule Out Soon

In a recent article on David Vaught reported on FAA’s announced delay in the projected release of the sUAS NPRM. Though the FAA has officially pushed the release date back to February 2012, there is an ongoing effort within the agency to get the rule out as soon as possible. At a recent seminar in San Diego an FAA spokesperson advised there is still a slight chance of getting the rule out in December; however, it is more likely we’ll see the proposed rule shortly after the first of the year.

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NPRM Delayed

Information just received from the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Program Office (UAPO) indicates the release of the sUAS NPRM has been delayed once again. Due to delays in the internal review process, it’s unlikely the NPRM will meet the previous target date of mid December. The UAPO is now projecting February 2012 as the new release date for the proposed rule.

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