As you are likely aware, the National Park Service (NPS) sent out Policy Memorandum 14-05 on June 19, 2014. This memorandum addresses interim policies that the
NPS was implementing, temporarily restricting the use of
unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and RC model aircraft on
This policy memorandum was widely reported in the media,
although the media neglected to include the fact that the NPS
was still allowing approved AMA chartered clubs that had
permits to continue to fly in the parks.
Since that time, we at AMA Headquarters have received
many inquiries about the policy’s current status and questions
about whether or not AMA could help with allowing modelers
more access to these parks.
AMA’s Director of Public Relations and Government
Affairs, Rich Hanson, spoke with the NPS associate director
for Visitor and Resource Protection. As a result, AMA has been
assured that the NPS is supportive of the AMA and its clubs
and members who fly responsibly and safely. The NPS wants
to continue to allow model aviation activities on NPS lands
and to approve new permits allowing AMA chartered clubs to
create new flying sites where appropriate.
AMA is working with the NPS Visitor and Resource
Protection to create a document that recognizes this
relationship and will assist clubs that might want to pursue a
flying site on NPS lands. As soon as AMA has possession of this
document, we will make it available to our clubs and members
in hopes of assisting in obtaining permits for aeromodeling
the NPS system
and the formation
of new flying sites.
Please watch the
AMA website for
new document and
how you or your
club can obtain a
Flying Sites Near
received a number
of calls about what an AMA chartered club should do if its
flying site is located within 5 miles of an airport.
Until now, AMA has been asking clubs to temporarily
forgo making contact with airport officials concerning this
issue. Over the past two years we’ve worked with the FAA
in an effort to create the necessary procedures for complying
with this requirement. Progress in this area has been slow at
best, and unfortunately, it appears that mutually agreed-upon
procedures for enacting the Special Rule for Model Aircraft
will not be finalized any time soon.
AMA believes it’s extremely important to meet the
requirements of the Special Rule, and the time has come
to move ahead independently and create procedures that
allow our clubs to fulfill the requirements of this new law.
As a result, Rich and I are working on creating a procedures
document for clubs to follow.
This document should be available to AMA members and
clubs by the first of the year, and the 2015 National Model
Aircraft Safety Code will be reconciled with the criteria
established by Congress. Implementation of these procedures
and compliance with the 5-mile rule will coincide with the
Please watch for this announcement
from AMA, and continue monitoring
the AMA website. We will make this
document public as soon as it is ready.
We understand how important both of
these issues are to you, and you can be
assured that we will continue to work
until they are resolved. Thank you for
supporting AMA and our government
advocacy efforts. Your support helps us
continue to advocate for your right to
Flying Site Assistance Coordinator
12 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2014
inAction AMA Advocating for Members
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. Tony is
available with answers to nearly all of your questions. Contact him at
(800) 435-9262, ext. 230, or email him at email@example.com.
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.