Be aware. In America this is real and hard to believe. But our right to fly a model airplane is being slowly chipped away at by laws and regulations I feel is motivated by the commercial drone industry who is putting a lot of money in the back pockets of your elected so called officials to clear us from the skies. Read on:
Good morning fellow FAC member,
As you are probably aware, the FAA is considering the adoption of wide-ranging policies to monitor and control the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The public has been invited to comment upon the proposed policy, and has until March 2nd—this coming Monday–to do so.
While the proposed policies are aimed squarely at the R/C community, there are very real issues at stake for the Free Flight community as well. In a nutshell, among other things the proposals place very strict and time-limited rules upon the establishment of recognized flying sites, provide very limited means by which to change the geographic boundaries of that site, and do not allow for additional sites to be registered after the initial one-year sign up period.
It is not hard to see how this could result in the gradual, permanent loss of R/C flying sites across the country, and by extension, the loss of Free Flight sites as well. Think of Muncie. Think of Geneseo. Even those of us who quietly conduct our hobby out of obliging farmer’s fields are likely to feel the impact, as awareness grows of the restrictions and Farmer Joe gets cold feet. These are not political issues; they are issues of public and commercial policy that will touch each and every one of us, one way or another.
You may or may not agree that the AMA has done a thorough job of representing the interests of the wider aeromodeling community. Whatever your feelings about AMA, drones, giant R/C ships and the rest, their fate affects ours. At the very least, I urge you to go to the AMA site using the links provided below, follow their lead, and add your input. You are of course free to write whatever you want, independant of AMA’s suggestions. Whatever your course, I would further urge you to make your input as respectful and constructive as possible. Your input makes a difference! Imagine YOU are the one whose job it is to wade through the public comments, and that it is your job to separate the wheat from the chaff.
In closing, I believe that while the Free Flight community is largely flying under the radar of these policies, as currently written the issues of site registration and retention will have a dire impact upon our hobby, sooner or later. They warrant special attention in your comments.
Dave Mitchell CinC, Flying Aces Club
As you are aware, the FAA is proposing Remote ID rules for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Because FF and CL do not navigate in the airspace remotely using devices like a transmitter or app, AMA advocates that those models are not a UAS. We are hopeful the FAA will adopt this position, as other North American and European countries have. While we work through these FF exemptions, the remaining aeromodelling community needs your help in writing comments to the FAA to shape the proposed Remote ID rule. We encourage you and anyone who supports our great hobby to visit www.modelaircraft.org/gov. There you can find links to a templated comment. Please edit it to include your personal experience, or create your own message entirely. Then visit https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/12/31/2019-28100/remote-identification-of-unmanned-aircraft-systems and click on the “SUBMIT A FORMAL COMMENT” button at the top of the page to insert your comments. Complete the form and click on the “SUBMIT COMMENT” button at the end. Please note that comments and information provided are public knowledge. Thank you!Chad Budreau, AMA Executive Director.