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08 October 2019

AMA call to sign a petition
US modellers agains the new FAA proposals

Academy of Model Aeronautics in the U.S. call all members and supporters to sigh a petition agains the proposals of flight rule changes in order to altitude limits on model aviation.

AMA call to sign a petition

Federal Aviation Administration announced that they are planning to set sharp restrictions on model aviations - reported by Academy of Model Aeronautics. As the proposals read, the altitude limit will be 400 feet in controlled airspaces, regardless the form of the activity and disciplines, even so it's been declared differently in the LOA (Letter of Agreement) received by the local club in controlled airspace. No exemption will apply. These controlled airspaces are located around airports referred by AMA -  they are typically known as FRZ (Flight Restriction Zone) in the United Kingdom, but airspaces classified as "C" or "D" (typically CTZ and TMA airspaces) are all included by our understanding.

FAA also plans to limit the model flying activity to 700 or 1200 feet in uncontrolled airspace (class G) depending on the area, and again regardless the form of the model flying. Although most of the model flying can be satisfied with even the 400 feet limitation, there are many disciplines, which are seriously affected or will be impossible within the new framework. International events can be affected as well, which is not a good news to our already declining hobby. Bigger jet models, gliders, thermal soaring are all affected by these proposals.

FAA doesn't seem to appreciate the high safety records of the conventional model flying, and their aim is not clear, which leads people into conspiracy theories, like the Federal Aviation Administration privileges commercial UAS over traditional recreational and sport activities, and prepares the airspaces for package delivery services.

AMA and known U.S. pilots like Kyle Dahl call all members to sign this petition.

Whilst in the U.K.

BMFA (British Model Flying Association) and cooperating UAS association in the U.K. could achieve exemptions applied on association members, especially conventional model flying activities, recognising the high safety records in a century. This exemption is not applied by the FAA in the United States.

However the situation is also not satisfying in the United Kingdom either. The DRES (Drone Registration Education System) is delayed, it wasn't rolled out by 1st of October as it was planned originally, and it's unlikely become available before 14th October. Dave Phipps is still fighting for the UK modellers to achieve better conditions for them.

As it's known, the DRES original annual fee planned was as high as 17 pounds, which combined with the annuan association and club membership fees together would be a barrier for many new joiners especially from the less wealthy community classes. At least control line flyers are exempt from DRES obligation at the moment.

BMFA wants to achieve that all association members registered would exempt from DRES obligations, as even the "A" test provides higher standards, than the DRES, and this would be only a stealth tax on model flyers within association frameworks.

BMFA ask all members not to rush passing the test and registering in DRES, even so the system got rolled out. As they ask British modellers:

"business as usual"

until further notice.