Thank you for your help in the House to protect the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. The Senate will soon begin their work.


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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 Authorization Extended Until September 2018

On March 23, President Trump approved a spending bill that gives Congress until September 30, 2018 to finalize an FAA Authorization bill. During this time, the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336) will remain intact and our members can continue to fly under AMA’s set of community-based safety guidelines, as we have for many decades.

The first step toward accomplishing a long-term FAA Authorization bill occured on April 27 when the House of Representatives passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R.4). We are happy to share that Section 336, also known as the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, is included in this bill with meaningful refinements that we supported to help make it stronger. We especially want to thank the thousands of members who participated in our Call to Action in the last few weeks to let Congress know the importance of protecting our hobby. Your efforts during this critical time have made a significant impact.

While much of what we fought for was included in this bill, there are also some provisions that concern us. Rest assured – we will continue to work on improving FAA Reauthorization moving forward. Protecting our hobby is AMA’s top priority and we will do everything possible to ensure your ability and freedom to fly.

Please remember there are several more steps in the process before FAA Reauthorization becomes law. The next step is for the Senate to consider its own version of FAA Reauthorization, and then both the House and Senate bills will be sent to a Joint Committee to hash out a final version of the legislation. This process could take months and we may ask for your help again during this time.



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.