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John Taylor's case has been reversed in the National Defense Authorization Act.


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Promoting and protecting the hobby, sport, and educational pursuit of model aviation.

Section 336

Read the Special Rule for Model Aircraft From Public Law 112-95 Sect 336.

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All members are required to affirm they will operate within our Safety Code and programming.

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On December 12, 2017, President Trump signed legislation that requires registration with the FAA.

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AMA Government Affairs Blog

FAA Reauthorization Extended Until March 2018

The new FAA extension provides continuity for the aviation community, including model aircraft. This extension means the Special Rule for Model Aircraft will remain in place and our members can continue to fly under AMA’s set of community-based safety guidelines, as we have for many decades.

However, we still believe a longer-term reauthorization of the FAA is needed. That’s why we look forward to working with Congress on a full FAA reauthorization bill that strengthens the Special Rule for Model Aircraft and affirms the role of community-based organizations like AMA in educating and managing hobbyists.



FAA Acknowledges AMA as a CBO and our Safety Program

There has been confusion among our members as to whether operations above 400 feet are permitted by the FAA. AMA has remained steadfast that the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act) permits operations above 400 feet if conducted within our safety program requiring the pilot to be an AMA member, to avoid and not interfere with manned aircraft, and to keep the model in visual line of sight of the pilot/observer. It should be noted that the AMA Safety Code requires model aircraft to remain below 400 feet above the ground when within 3 miles of an airport unless there is an agreement with the airport that allows models to safely go higher.

In January of 2016 the AMA requested that the FAA clarify the 400-foot issue in writing. We are happy to share that in a letter to the AMA, the FAA recognized AMA’s role as a community-based organization and acknowledged our safety program, including allowing flight above 400 feet under appropriate circumstance.

In this letter, dated July 7, 2016, the FAA states:
  • “…model aircraft may be flow consistently with Section 336 and agency guidelines at altitudes above 400 feet when following a community-based organization’s safety guidelines.”
  • “Community-based organizations, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics, may establish altitude limitations in their safety guidelines that exceed the FAA’s 400 AGL altitude recommendation.”

    Essentially, this letter confirms that sailplanes, large model aircraft, turbines, and other disciplines can responsibly operate above 400 feet if the AMA member is operating within our safety programming. Equally important, the FAA again acknowledges AMA as a community-based organization.

    Thank you for your support.