department to contact each AMA club that was identified as
operating within 5 miles of an airport with a control tower.
Additional information will be provided to these clubs, and
AMA will give each of them the option of having AMA
contact the airport on its behalf and obtain the agreement,
or provide the club with the contact information so it can
work out an agreement with the airport authority on its
After AMA is notified of the club’s wishes, work can be
done to obtain the final agreements. AMA will be happy to
assist any club that wants to
work on its own agreement
with the airport authority.
When the agreement
is complete, a copy will
be maintained in the
club’s records at AMA
Headquarters. This will
fulfill the legal requirement
that AMA clubs have with
the federal government, and
the organizations will be in
compliance with the new
There have been some
concerns that an agreement
would be difficult and
complex. It is our goal to
make it very simple! It is
a simple explanation that
outlines Section 336 and what is required. It includes the
statement that the club understands that it is within 5 miles
of an airport and has reported such to the airport, and a
similar statement from airport officials stating that they
acknowledge the existence of a model flying site within 5
miles of the airport. That’s it!
By being proactive, AMA is able to create the language
of the agreement that follows the letter of the law, and is
still simple. Waiting for the government to act could mean
a multipage agreement with several extra requirements that
are not in the law.
This information can also be used by AMA to better
protect clubs from possible future changes in the law. We
will have good data on AMA chartered clubs that operate
within 5 miles of an airport. Having the locations and types
of flying sites could prove vital when defending our right to
fly, should these clubs be threatened in any way. Knowing
the number of modelers involved could play a key role in
keeping the federal government from future infringements
on your right to enjoy model aviation.
Although we are concerned that the FAA and the federal
government have started down a road that could lead to
detrimental effects on our hobby, AMA wants to be ready
to stand up for modelers’ rights. I can’t imagine what the
future holds for us, but it is
obvious that with the new
influx of model activity
with multirotors and drones,
our visibility to the average
citizen has been heightened.
Sitting back and hoping
nothing happens is not
an option. We have to be
vigilant in ensuring our
hobby is safe and legally
operating. Those who
endanger the activity by
careless or reckless flying
and activity could jeopardize
aeromodeling for all of us.
Make sure you are
doing your part to educate
anyone you come in contact
with concerning the safe
operation of RC models and drones. Invite them to the field
and show them the safe way to fly.
Please take the time to visit www.knowbeforeyoufly.org
and find out what the rules are for those who fly outside
the membership of the AMA. Your efforts will make a
Flying Site Assistance Coordinator
Flying site assistance:
Information, case studies, and more
Clubs are fortunate to have a resource in Tony Stillman, AMA’s flying site assistance
coordinator. Helping more than 2,000 clubs with
one of their most critical issues—getting and
keeping a flying site—is a big task, and one that
requires sizeable resources.
One of the biggest assets in Tony’s and your club’s “tool kit” is
the AMA’s website and its repository of how-tos and success stories,
some of which entail working with local municipal authorities.
Check out www.modelaircraft.org, or give Tony a call. He is
available with answers to nearly all of your questions. Contact him at
(800) 435-9262, ext. 230, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want to share a case study to help your fellow pilots across
the country? Send Tony your stories. Consider compiling your story
by problem, actions, and results. Learn from and help your peers. It’s
the best way to fly.
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