The Final Small UAS Rule

We are pleased to share that 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.

Below are some commonly asked questions:

Q. How does this affect me as a member? Do I have to take a special test, earn a permit, be capped at 400', etc...?
A: The FAA final rule primarily addresses commercial and civil operations and does not apply to hobbyists who “satisfy all of the criteria specified in section 336.” If you are an AMA member operating within our community-based safety programs and are not conducting commercial or civil operations, you are exempt from this rule.

Q. Do I still need to notify airports within five miles of my modeling activities?
A: Yes. This rule does not nullify the airport notification requirement.

Q. Do I still have to register with the FAA?
A: Yes. While the FAA reaffirms Section 336, the new rule does not preclude the registration requirement. This is something the AMA is still working on.

Q. Do I need to put my FAA number on my model aircraft?
A: Yes, you need to list both your AMA number and Federal registration number on your aircraft. We are advocating to allow members to exclusively use their AMA numbers. We believe an AMA membership already meets the intent of registration, but at this time place both numbers on your aircraft.

Q. Where do I go to register?
A: You can register at

Q. Where can I read more about FAA's final rule on small UAS?
A: You can

Congressional Updates

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. 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.


Issue Spotlight: New FAA Re authorization Bill


Proposed Senate Bill 2658

Special Rule For Model Aircraft

Proposed House Bill

Government Relations Blog



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