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The Academy of Model Aeronautics tells ANN that the FAA is set to place “heavy restrictions” on the hobbyists who fly model aircraft. In a circular sent to ANN over the weekend, the AMA indicates that the agency is poised to impose severe restrictions on the model aviation hobby, sport and industry that will have a potentially devastating impact on a recreational and educational activity pursued by hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts, tens of thousands of employees and an industry that generates more than $1 billion in revenue.
Originally posted by idunno12
reply to post by billxam
What are the restrictions?
- ALTITUDE: As proposed, the rule would impose a nationwide altitude ceiling of 400 feet. AMA recognizes the need for altitude limitations when model aircraft are operated in close proximity to airports, and this concept is supported in AMA’s current Safety Code. However, a nationwide altitude ceiling for model aircraft is impractical, unnecessary, unrealistic and unenforceable through any reasonable means of compliance and detection.
- SPEED: It is likely that the rule will attempt to limit model aircraft performance by establishing a set speed limit such as 100 mph. Imposing such a speed limit will have little to no effect on aircraft performance and is both undetectable and unenforceable through any practical, cost-effective means.
- WEIGHT: As proposed, the sUAS rule will limit small unmanned aircraft to 55 pounds or less, and the implication for AMA’s Large Model Aircraft Program has not yet been determined. Without an acceptable standard or an alternative means of compliance, this rule may well curtail a vital element of the modeling activity that drives creativity, innovation and technological development.
- TURBINE BAN: The blanket prohibition of gas turbine engines suggested in the ARC recommendations does not consider the wide range of products currently in the marketplace. The inclusion of this prohibition in the proposed rule will impose a significant and unjustified economic impact on the industry.
- AIRPORT PROXIMITY: It is understood that the FAA is considering going outside the ARC’s recommendation and extending the “area of concern” around the nation’s 19,760 airports beyond the current 3-mile radius that has been the standard for more than 29 years. The intent to extend this radius has absolutely no statistical basis, has no supporting data and has no accident or incident correlation. Doing so would exponentially impact the number of existing flying sites affected by the rule. Extending the radius by as little as 2 miles (to 5 miles) would nearly triple the area of concern and create more than 1,784,000 square miles in which “no fly without permission” restrictions would be imposed.
Model Airplanes Regulation Amendment
The Senate adopted S. Amdt. 86 by unanimous consent. This amendment denies the FAA the ability to regulate model airplanes. President of Academy of Model Aeronautics Dave Mathewson voiced his support and said, “On behalf of our 140,000 members I want to thank Senator Inhofe for helping to preserve model aviation. Aeromodeling is an exceptional family recreational and educational activity that has traditionally been a stepping stone for our children to careers in aviation and aerospace. With the Senator’s help we hope model aviation will continue to help provide that impetus for future generations of engineers, pilots, and astronauts.” District VII Vice President and National Safety Committee Chair of the Academy of Model Aeronautics Jim Rice said, “I truly appreciate Senator Inhofe and his fellow senators’ support of model aircraft enthusiasts around the country. As a modeler of 60+ years, member of the 140,000 member strong Academy of Model Aeronautics board of directors, and National Safety Committee Chair for AMA, I feel that AMA’s proven track record over its 75 years of existence speaks for itself. No further public monies or time should be spent trying to regulate safety into our sport which is already the safest of all aviation activities.”