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Did you read the FAA rules interpretation yet?

  • Jul 11, 2014 · 7:00 PM

Dear Members,

About 8 hours ago the FAA released a public notice that gives the general public a time limit of 30 days from June 23, 2014 to respond to the following clarification of a previous regulation. I have multiple links for your perusal including a link to email them your "official" opinion. Please avoid "knee jerk" reactions as there will be plenty of them and they will most likely be ignored.

As a member of the Drone User Group our members have an above average knowledge of these systems as well as knowledge on how to fly them in various places. When the first round of rules came out we did not exist. We do exist now and we are by far the largest drone group. If you don't say anything about this, it WILL be the law. Thank you for reading and thinking on it!

DIY Drones website summary: Here

The newly released written Interpretation of the FAA on model aircraft: Here

FAA Official Press Release about this: Here

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (what they are clarifying, not for the weak hearted)

Where you can send them electronically, your public opinion:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go here and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.


*************AMA to AMA Members Response**********

On Monday, June 23rd, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released an Interpretive Rule in which it presented FAA's interpretation of the "Special Rule for Model Aircraft" established by Congress in the FAA modernization and Reform Act of 2012. The Academy has reviewed the rule and is extremely disappointed and troubled by the approach the FAA has chosen to take in regards to this issue

In its Press Release the FAA stated it was, "issuing the notice to provide clear guidance to model operators on the "do's and don'ts" of flying safely in accordance with the Act and to answer many of the questions it has received regarding the scope and application of the rules." It also stated, "(this) guidance comes after recent incidents involving the reckless use of unmanned model aircraft near airports and involving large crowds of people." It's important to note that very few of these cases have been factually documented and not a single incident was shown to involve a member of the AMA or to be connected in any way to modeling operations conducted under the auspices of the special rule.

In AMA's response to the rule it was pointed out that, "The FAA interpretive rule effectively negates Congress' intentions, and is contrary to the law. Section 336(a) of the Public Law states that, 'the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft...', this interpretive rule specifically addresses model aircraft, effectively establishes rules that model aircraft were not previously subject to and is in direct violation of the congressional mandate in the 2012 FAA reauthorization bill."

AMA has voiced its opposition to FAA's action and will pursue all available recourse to dissuade enactment of this rule. It's important that every AMA member becomes involved in the effort.

The first step is to respond to the public comment period established in the notice. Look for a follow-up email from AMA with information on how to respond to the FAA notice. This is your opportunity to express your views and to comment on various aspects of the Interpretive Rule. It's important for the Administration to know that this rule significantly impacts the entire aeromodeling community and that this community is resolute and committed to protecting the hobby. In this case silence IS NOT golden.

Please alert your friends, family members and fellow modelers regarding this issue.

Thank you,

AMA Government Relations

******************Added links 7/10/2014****************

AMA point by point against FAA interpretation.

Video/Podcast discussion.


Join or login to comment.

  • Michael D

    Hey all, I would like to get out and fly today. Is anybody going out or does anybody have a good spot to recommend? Something low profile, just want to fly, not cause problems.

    June 29, 2014

    • FtWorthDRONE

      Thunderbird Airpark, Benbrook Lake is always a good place to fly.

      July 11, 2014

  • Chad F.

    I should point out that the AMA is really taking issue with the FAA on this interpretation. Rich Hanson, the AMA to Government liaison will be attending our drone conference. I think I should find him some more time.

    1 · July 10, 2014

  • tom h.

    Reviewing the Interpretive Rule now.

    July 7, 2014

  • Benjamin G.

    I would like to offer holding this July 11th meeting at the Dallas Makerspace. We just moved to a larger location in Carrollton. The dust has not settled, but we have a lecture hall online that can hold 50.

    Let me know and I can make arrangements.

    July 6, 2014

  • Jeff

    I haven't seen anyone post a direct link, so here is a link to commenting for this 'interpretation': http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA[masked]

    June 29, 2014

  • Steve S.

    This is the address I got for submitting comments to the FAA.
    http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FAA[masked]

    June 26, 2014

  • Chad F.

    The AMA is VERY upset about this, I'm going to copy that letter here, but, if you read it it seems as if they too can't make a public comment to the FAA either! I can't make the link work myself.

    June 25, 2014

  • Dylan

    I think it's important to note that this is not a notice of proposed rule making which leads to new regulation. It's only an explanation of the FAA's interpretation of existing guidelines and laws. If you do not comply with their interpretations they will come after you. As of now this new interpretation sets out rules which we all have to follow, immediately or risk being attacked by the FAA. Hopefully they will listen to the commentary and put out a more reasonable interpretation.

    June 24, 2014

  • FtWorthDRONE

    We should definitely meet to discuss our concerns and brainstorm potential issues and solutions. Either at an in-person meeting or by conference bridge. I suggest that NTDUG create an "official" response and our membership duplicate this response.

    June 24, 2014

  • Don S.

    Boy do I have a lot of questions FAA:
    1. Fpv-Does that mean goggles only?
    2. Airport: One with a tower or private airstrips?
    3. Will we be required to fly at AMA designated airstrips.

    June 24, 2014

  • Choppermike

    Yes, Thank You.
    I just replied to the email as I'm a bit confused, and tired. Hopefully I'll understand more in the morning.

    June 24, 2014

  • W. Ross C.

    Thank you Chad for posting this very informative link. I will review more carefully, but it truly does appear that the FAA is trying to be as burdensome and draconian as possible towards hobbyists until they release commercial regulations. It seems that common sense is being ignored, and in my view the more obtuse the FAA's policy, the more likely it will simply be ignored and thus become highly counter-productive.

    June 24, 2014

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