FRIA Update from AMA

We’ve received many questions regarding FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA) applications and wanted to bring you the latest information.  

What is a FRIA? An FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA) allows our members to fly their radio control model aircraft, as they always have, without the need for Remote ID broadcast equipment. While Remote ID does not go into effect until September 16, 2023, AMA has already started the process to apply for FRIA status for many club flying sites.  

How will my club apply for a FRIA? The FAA only allows educational institutions and recognized Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) such as AMA to apply for FRIA status. As the leading and first recognized CBO—AMA was the first to start this process free of charge on behalf of our clubs. Beginning last year, AMA sent emails to all club officers regarding steps to begin the FRIA application process. Thank you to each club’s primary point of contact who started this process with AMA. To avoid delays in the process, clubs with radio control operations are only to submit one questionnaire to AMA. If you are unsure whether your club’s primary contact submitted a FRIA questionnaire to AMA, please contact your club officers.  

What if I don’t fly at a club site or FRIA? The FAA intends that FRIAs are for flying sites, such as AMA flying fields, and not individuals. Members can comply with Remote ID when not flying at a FRIA by using a broadcast module or flying a Remote ID-equipped aircraft. Click here to read our Frequently Asked Questions concerning Remote ID

We appreciate your patience during this lengthy process. We will continue to provide updates through our communication channels, including email, Model Aviation, AMA This Week, AMA Air, and through our district vice presidents.  

Thank you for your support! 


  1. Once a club site receives FRIA certification, will there be an altitude restriction?

    1. I would assume that the existing 400′ ceiling will still be applicable. Being designated as an FRIA does not change existing rules governing UAVs.

    2. All FRIA’s should be for (Single Runway a Semi Circle 2000′ Radius & with Dual intersecting Runways a 2000′ Radius Circle) upto 999′ AGL. Also Designated on all VFR aviation charts (Paper or Electronic) as Designated Model Flight Areas. Why DMFA’s/FRIA’s & 999′ AGL. Because FAR 91.119 (b) already requires Manned aircraft to be (when Over an open air assembly of People) to be 1000′ above the Highest Object with in 2000′.
      § 91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.
      Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:
      b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

      1. UAS have a hard ceiling of 400 feet. AMA has not yet negotiated any exceptions. How do you get 999 feet?

      2. 1.) The size of a FRIA request is not limited to a 2,000′ radius distance requirement. 2.) FRIA dimensions can be any shape & size when in compliance of listed criteria. 3.) I believe to exceed the 400′ AGL maximum altitude, you must process a separate FAA waiver with AMA’s assistance. Unless your club already possesses an altitude waiver, this is not part of the FRIA application. 4.) There is a lot more to FAR 91.119 than mentioned above. Regardless of your location, aircraft can legally be at very low altitudes near you.

      3. Michael,

        That would make the process much easier. However, model aircraft/UAS operations do not fall under the definition of open air assembly. What you propose would mean that the FAA would be providing separation services for UAS activity, something that is currently prohibited by FAA policy. 

      4. Your not going to get 999′ feet without some sort of exemption/variance like Model Rocket clubs get.
        Your quoting a lot of Regs but forgetting a critical one. Aircraft have to maintain a 500′ vertical separation. Hence why we are being limited to 400′.
        Now technically we should get 500′ based on the 500′ separation rule. For the most part I agree manned aircraft shouldn’t be below 1000′ without permission which they can request and often get in GA.
        We should stay below 500′. I’m sorry but I believe the vast majority of model aircraft being flown out there aren’t big enough to be safely flown over 500 vertical feet. If you are wanting to fly that high on a regular basis, your probably flying something bigger and have plenty of room for a transponder.
        If your flying something small, especially FPV you should stay below 500′. You do not have the situational awareness to be safe. I’ve flown GA and had close calls with birds. You are lucky if you even have time to react and are often just “crossing your fingers” there is no collision.
        Club’s not near airports should be able to apply for a permanent variance/exemption to fly over 400′. Though I think again it would end up being like the rocketry clubs. You would have make notification when you intend to fly over the standard ceiling…
        It’s not hard and I believe manned aircraft then receive a NOTAM for that region.
        Just my opinion… I don’t like the rules being placed on us either but… reality is there are now irresponsible people out there flying recklessly. There needs to be something in place to counter that.
        If you think anyone is going to come out to your club field and harass you for flying your model aircraft responsibly and safely… I think you are worrying about something you don’t need to.

    3. FRIA status only exempts those flying at that site from having a remote ID broadcast module on/in your aircraft. All other rules and restrictions remain in place at FRIAs.

  2. I think this is all a bunch of crap one more thing has done to step on out necks this pure socialism it is not freedom at all

    1. Agree. If there were Amazon delivery drones flying all over the place I could maybe understand all of these requirements, but that hasn’t happened yet and doesn’t seem that it will occur anytime in the forseeable future. It all seems like a bunch of unnecessary nonsense.

  3. I would be extremely helpful if AMA could publish RC models that are light enough that do not require restrictions to fly at a park or open field. Thank you.

    1. For those not flying at a FRIA site, you will need to satisfy the Remote ID requirement by flying an aircraft with built-in Standard Remote ID, or by adding a Broadcast Module to your aircraft. A current list of FAA-compliant aircraft and broadcast modules can be found here Please keep in mind that the aforementioned list represents the aircraft and broadcast modules that the FAA has approved to have met the remote ID standard so far. Not all the aircraft and broadcast modules on the list are available for sale at this time. AMA will be sure to update our members when more add-on broadcast modules become more widely available.

  4. Our application is in and we are trying to influence the air spaces as suggested. The dome an be improved in that it has 50% of the dome wasted because we do not fly behind the runway and it is in the center of the dome. Our flight area should not be sloped as you go out to the outside of the area — like a dome, We would like to redesign the areas depending on what is being flown. Secondly, the FRIA should not be up 24 hours a day as we do not use it then. Bad weather is another cause for us to have the area unused. It seems like we should design these areas so that the actual use is reflected and no more space is taken up than needed. We are looking for help get this done right instead of the way a non-rc person would do it

    1. AMA is working with clubs to identify the airspace that is actually being used. Only in rural locations will the radius method be used in the FRIA application process. In regards to FRIAs being active 24 hrs a day, the FAA does ask if the site will be used at dawn, dusk, and night. It is very possible that the FRIA protection may not be active if your site does not operate at these times.

  5. Government nonsense, just another part of the long-term control of the peons. As a retired air traffic controller. it makes no sense to me.

  6. What if you are NOT part of a club, but fly around your own property with a drone. Where do you get the equipment you need. The information at the bottom of this section is for the birds.

    1. For those not flying at a FRIA site, you will need to satisfy the Remote ID requirement by flying an aircraft with built-in Standard Remote ID, or by adding a Broadcast Module to your aircraft. A current list of FAA-compliant aircraft and broadcast modules can be found here Please keep in mind that the aforementioned list represents the aircraft and broadcast modules that the FAA has approved to have met the remote ID standard so far. Not all the aircraft and broadcast modules on the list are available for sale at this time. AMA will be sure to update our members when more add-on broadcast modules become more widely available.

  7. What you say is true for manned operations. However IMHO this whole FRIA and remote ID plan is being driven by the big money operators like FedEx, UPS, Amazon, etc. who want their delivery drones to have safe passage thru “their” airspace. Also involved is companies who want to save money by sending a drone in to replace manned aircraft for things like power line and pipeline inspections, aerial survey, and forest fire detection to name a few of the possibilities.
    I agree with you that FRIA’s should be larger and have a higher ceiling and definitely be listed on aviation charts as DMFA’s with the same rights as manned aircraft airports. You don’t fly (manned or unmanned) in the DMFA without prior notification to and approval of, the DMFA owner/operator. Why are we relegated to second class user of the airspace status?

  8. Give the recent shoot downs in the national air space , should AMA issue a comment ?

  9. I understand the FAA wants to limit the Number of FRIA s to 4000 and that the process to register those is cumbersome. Are you actively working to to get the Number of FRIA sites massively increased and the process simplified

    1. AMA is aware that the FAA is only looking to establish FRIAs at fixed flying site locations, such as AMA chartered clubs and schools. The FAA has made it clear that individuals cannot request FRIAs for personal use, such as a backyard where only one person flies. This was mentioned in the FAA’s Final Rule on Remote ID back in 2021. While very unlikely, AMA has informed the FAA that we would estimate 75,000 FRIA requests from our organization if they change their policy and allow individuals to request FRIAs. AMA participated in an FAA/CBO meeting a few weeks back, where all CBOs were told that standard policy and procedure is not to allow individuals to request FRIAs for personal use. These types of requests will be denied once the FAA begins processing applications.

      In regards to the process, AMA has dedicated a team to the FRIA application process and have submitted nearly 350 to date. We fully expect to have FRIA applications submitted for all applicants by the September 2023 deadline.

  10. I think that the AMA is missing a very important part of our hobby and that is not all of us are close to a flying club. The closest club to me is 45 minutes away but a local large open field has given permission to fly. FAA is going to kill our hobby!!

    1. AMA advocates on behalf of all member. The FAA’s Final Rule on Remote ID attempted to accommodate traditional model aircraft by allowing remote ID solutions other than purchasing new aircraft with the remote ID built-in. While far from ideal, an add-on broadcast module can be attached to your aircraft to satisfy the remote ID rule. Another option would be to start a small club at the large open field you mention and request FRIA status for that location.

  11. How will we meet the requirements when a FRIA club has a float fly away from the club field? Some float fly’s have a 30 plus year history. Could remote ID modules at sometime be available to for purchase thru AMA ?

    1. The FAA’s Final Rule on Remote ID mentions that FRIAs will not be granted for one-off events. However, the rule also mentions that these situations will be treated as an airshow or through a separate wavier process. AMA has confirmed with the FAA that events outside of a FRIA location will be able to apply for remote ID waivers.

      AMA has no plans to sell remote ID modules at this time, but we will provide a list of available modules when possible.

  12. A couple of questions come to mind. Will the price of a remote ID unit be within reason? Like less the $50. Will the size and weight be compatible with the models now available? I know at least two of my RTF models have no space for any additional gear. If all UAS have to have remote ID on them when will all manned AC have them?

  13. I have heard that if our club holds a night fly that there is training required and all models will need specific lighting? I can not find information regarding such

  14. What about birds that fly around. Is the FAA working with the wild life to stick remote id’s on birds?
    I don’t get it, some birds weigh more than 250g. The geese that fly south in my neighborhood and then back weigh more than 250g.

  15. I received email yesterday from AMA that the FRIA application for our club has been approved. Is there anything else that we need to do on our end. There wasn’t any other information with the email.

  16. Folks.. this has gone way out of hand and the end is not in sight. First thing we all need to do is calm down and remember a rule is a rule.. only if it’s enforceable.. 😎
    Short term? When you have an event, call Flight Service (1-800 WEATHER-BRIEF) and get a temp. NOTAM (notice to airmen) issued, especially if you border or are in controlled airspace.
    And remember kids.. If you hold an Airman Cert. (Pvt, Comm, ATP) You WILL be held to a higher standard if you get a UAS violation. Nobody’s talkin’ about this but as pilots, your supposed to be knowledgable about FAR’s and especially airspace so ignorance / stupidity won’t fly and our little buddies at the “Friendly Aviation Administration” will give you a wonderful chance to reply to the LOI (Letter of Investigation) that will come to your address via. Certified Mail or.. have you in for an up close and personal visit that you would rather not have. FYI.. You will be the one sitting at the end of the long table with no glass of water !
    Flying over your own property? Read the regs !! As long as your not in Restricted Airspace, a TFR or Class B (Inner tier starts at the surface) and stay below 400′ the Feds can’t say or do jack.
    Party on !!

  17. Does anyone know where we can find a list of FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs)? I can’t seem to find a list on the FAA’s website– I know of very few that have been approved but even then I cannot find anything online.

Comments are closed.