Last month the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it would require
owners of model aircraft to register with the agency by February
19. AMA participated in the task force designed to provide
recommendations to the FAA on the registration of small
recreational unmanned aircraft, and we urged the FAA to exempt
AMA members from registration. AMA also recommended the FAA
consider several factors, not just weight, when determining which
model aircraft would need to be registered.
Instead of exempting our
community, the FAA created an unnecessary burden for our more
than 188,000 members who have been flying safely for decades. As
you know, AMA members already abide by a voluntary registration
system that fulfills the safety and accountability objectives of
the federal registration system. We made this point very clear to
the FAA and other task force members.
We are exploring all
options to alleviate this burden on our members and we are
actively engaged in talks with the FAA. For now, the
requirement is federal regulation and therefore we must advise
all of our members to comply by the February 19 deadline.
We have an existing
petition with the US Court of Appeals regarding FAA's 2014
interpretation of the "Special Rule for Model Aircraft"
and we will continue our advocacy work in Washington D.C.
Recently, our leadership brought representatives from the
FAA to one of our flying fields to witness AMA's safety
protocols, observe club camaraderie and mentoring, and speak with
AMA members firsthand about their concerns. In addition, this
week AMA staff and the Executive Council will arrive at Capitol
Hill to speak to members of Congress and their staffs about the
importance of protecting model aviation for future generations.
We will continue to work
on behalf of our members, but since a solution to the
registration requirement is unlikely by February 19, members
should register at www.faa.gov/uas/registration
Once registered pilots will receive a Federal registration number
that is to be placed on or within aircraft over 250 grams (0.55
lbs.). Members are encouraged to continue placing their AMA
numbers on their aircraft as well. Members only have to
register once, they do not have to register each unique aircraft.
The FAA requires registration regardless if you fly a
multirotor, helicopter, fixed wing, or any other type of radio
control model aircraft that uses a ground control system with a
communication link, such as a transmitter. You can read
more in our Frequently Asked Questions at www.modelaircraft.org/gov.
Thank you for your
continued support. Together, we can ensure the future of our