We are pleased to share that today the FAA released its final rule for small UAS, which will apply to commercial and civil operations. We believe these rules will be highly beneficial to the UAS industry overall and look forward to seeing widespread commercial and civil operations of unmanned aircraft take flight.
It is important to understand that the final small UAS rule does not change model aircraft operations for AMA members. In fact, the rule affirms Congress’ intent in the Special Rule for Model Aircraft that the FAA not promulgate any additional regulations on our community. We are very pleased that the rule helps to maintain this exemption for model aircraft.
For more on the FAA’s final small UAS rule, we encourage you to read this USA Today story, “FAA completes landmark rules for commercial drones,” which includes a mention of AMA’s analysis of UAS sightings released earlier this month.
We also wanted to share on update on our work with Congress to strengthen and improve the Special Rule for Model Aircraft in the next FAA reauthorization bill.
As you may remember, the Senate version of the FAA reauthorization bill includes language that could be problematic to our members who have been flying safely and responsibly for decades. As of today, the entire legislative process has stalled and we have learned that Congress may delay the legislative process further by extending the current 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act for a third time.
Congress is expected to make a determination and finalize plans for an extension in the coming weeks before the July 15th deadline. If an extension is passed, hobbyists can continue to operate as they do now, under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft passed in 2012.
Thank you for your continued support of AMA. We will continue to be engaged in the process and share updates as they become available.
AMA Government Affairs Team