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AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemaking

Discussion in 'News' started by Visioneer, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. Visioneer

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    (Also posted in viewtopic.php?f=3&t=18824 as this merits every US pilot's attention)

    Here's AMA's follow-up ... with a more detailed account of their concerns and a request that concerned individuals provide their comments to the FAA. I suspect a well reasoned, civil response has a better chance of being noticed than one which is not. In any event, it's likely that the volume of comments will bear as much weight as their content (however "form" letters carry little weight - use your own words). Now is the time to let the FAA know how many of us are watching.

    DEADLINE TO COMMENT: On or before July 25, 2014
    DEADLINE extended to September 23, 2014

    AMA's Areas of Concern Regarding the FAA Interpretive Rule for Model Aircraft

    On Tuesday, June 24th AMA issued a member alert expressing concern over some provisions in the FAA's interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft established by Congress in the FAA modernization and Reform Act of 2012. In that alert, we let members know that we would be following up with today's alert that explains AMA's concerns in greater detail.

    We need you to take action now and respond by July 25, 2014 to the FAA Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft that was released June 23, 2014. The Academy has reviewed the rule and is extremely disappointed and troubled be the approach the FAA has chosen to take in regards to this issue. FAA's Interpretive Rule

    To help you respond to the FAA, we have outlined AMA's major concerns in the bullets below. A more in-depth explanation of our concerns can be found at AMA's Concerns (https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/AMA ... ule614.pdf).

    Throughout the rule the FAA takes great latitude in determining Congress' intentions and in placing tightly worded restrictions through its "plain-language" interpretation of the text.
    The FAA uses the plain language doctrine to create a regulatory prohibition of the use of a specific type of technology.
    FAA's overreaching interpretation of the language in the Public Law is evident in the rule's interpretation of the requirement that model aircraft be "flown strictly for hobby or recreational use."
    Although the FAA acknowledges that manned aviation flights that are incidental to a business are not considered commercial under the regulations, the rule states that model aircraft flights flown incidental to a business are not hobby or recreation related.
    The rule overlooks the law's clear intention to encompass the supporting aeromodeling industry under the provision of the Special Rule, "aircraft being developed as a model aircraft." The rule's strict interpretation of hobby versus business puts in question the activities of the principals and employees of the billion dollar industry that supplies and supports the hobby.
    The Public Law states that when model aircraft are, "flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft (must) provide(s) the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation. However the rule indicates that approval of the airport operator is required. Although it is understood that making notification to the airport and/or ATC will open a dialog as to whether the planned activity is safe to proceed, there is no intent in the law that this be a request for permission on the part of the model aircraft pilot.
    The Interpretive Rule establishes new restrictions and prohibitions to which model aircraft have never been subject. This is counter to the Public Law which reads, "The Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft,..." if established criteria are met.
    The Interpretive Rule attempts to negate the entire Public Law by stating, "Other rules in part 91, or other parts of the regulations, may apply to model aircraft operations, depending on the particular circumstances of the operation. This in and of itself makes model aircraft enthusiasts accountable to the entire litany of regulations found in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, something that was never intended by Congress and until now never required by the FAA.

    How to Respond to the FAA.

    All AMA members, family and friends need to take action now to let the FAA know that this rule significantly impacts the entire aeromodeling community and that this community is resolute and committed to protecting the hobby.

    There are four methods to submit a comment. Emailing your comment is the fastest and most convenient method. All comments must include the docket number FAA-2014-0396. Tips for submitting your comments (are at http://www.regulations.gov/docs/Tips_Fo ... mments.pdf)

    Email: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Mail: Send Comments to Docket Operations, M-30; US Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: (202) 493-2251.


    Again, the deadline to comment is July 25, 2014
    DEADLINE extended to September 23, 2014

    For your reference:

    FAA Interpretive Rule at http://02b954f.netsolhost.com/docs/mode ... c_rule.pdf

    FAA Press Release at http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/ ... wsId=16474

    AMA Response at http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/FAAI ... veRule.pdf
     
  2. EMCSQUAR

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  3. macheung

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    We'll all need to comment here:
    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDe ... -0396-0001

    Funny how after you comment, it basically says it may never be posted...
    Your comment will be viewable on Regulations.gov after the agency has reviewed it, which may be an indefinite amount of time.

    My comment is attached:
    I have been a licensed private pilot for over 10 years and an also a model aircraft enthusiast. I am writing to express concerns about FAA’s recent “interpretation” of model aircraft definition as it will unnecessarily restrict the hobby, depriving our citizens from an important inspiration for future science and engineering development.

    As a pilot of full sized aircrafts, I understand that certain rules are necessary for the safe use of our airspace. Today, there are already well established guidelines on operational such as staying below 400ft AGL and maintaining situational awareness through visual contact and spotters. However, the most recent proposed regulations impart serious restriction on what is considered a model aircraft goes is highly restrictive and goes beyond what is necessary for safety.

    Particularly troublesome is the prohibition of FPV. FPV provides a pilot’s eye view of the aircraft using a remote camera and greatly assist the pilot with orientation, and awareness of where the aircraft will be heading and its status such as altitude and speed. Almost any pilot would agree that it would be easier and safer to pilot an aircraft under FPV than trying to judge its orientation and status even if it is only a couple hundred feet away. Prohibiting FPV would not only restrict the latest development in remote telemetry, it would arguably make the operation of models less safe by taking away one of the best piloting tools.

    Another matter is the notification of control tower within 5 miles of an airport. While this rule is well intentioned, the implementation will need more consideration as one could not expect to contact the ATC when operating any model that would clearly not pose any hazard (e.g. flying a small model in your backyard or at park within a few dozen feet of the ground). As a practical matter, notification/permission should not be required for most models if they are operated close to the ground.

    Lastly, the blanket prohibition on use of model aircraft for commercial purpose is not well intended. There is little harm in using model aircraft for any purpose as long as it is done safety without harm on others. The prohibited example FAA stated includes "surveying your own fields to see what crops needs to be watered" is especially worrisome as it is an activity done without compensation and on your own property. If this rules is interpreted strictly, then it would literally prevent new development in this field in the USA no companies would be allowed to conduct test flights for R&D purpose, shutting the country from the next technological evolution.

    A robust model aircraft hobby is not just for fun; it serves as an important inspiration to the next generation of citizens and is needed to maintain our global lead in science and technology. The proposed rules as stated will likely be seriously restrictive and have negative consequence to our society well beyond any marginal safety gained.
     
  4. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    I wrote this for something else but repurposing it for comments on the FAA's newly proposed rules:

    In the continued absence of regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or more specifically model aircraft, the FAA has been caught in an awkward position. The growth of new types of model aircraft over the past decade including new multi-rotor types has placed increasing pressure on the FAA to define regulations for their safe and practical use in the National Airspace (NAS).

    All users of the NAS including model aircraft users should be concerned that these rules still do not exist. And all Americans should be alarmed by the FAA's haphazard and illogical approach to controlling and curtailing the use of model aircraft.

    The FAA’s most recent approach is to assert that longstanding regulations for general aviation apply to model aircraft used in commercial applications and they are effectively no different from full-sized aircraft. The FAA makes this claim despite numerous declarations to the contrary over the years along with a total lack of enforcement or other efforts to support this assertion until now. The FAA makes this claim despite the ruling of an NTSB judge against just such an assertion where the FAA tried to apply general aviation aircraft regulations to a 5lb piece of styrofoam.

    By defining a model aircraft as a real aircraft, it means it is subject to nearly impossible regulations which would effectively ground all model aircraft in commercial operation until such time the FAA defines actual regulations for their use. At their current rate of progress, that could be several years from now. This only applies to commercial use of model aircraft as private “hobby” use has been placed off limits to the FAA’s interim measures through an act of Congress. This has not stopped the FAA from attempting to promulgate rules that apply to non-commercial use ahead of the real regulations they are long overdue to produce.

    Grounding commercial use of model aircraft across the United States may not seem important to some and many others may be unnerved by their use altogether as result of their portrayal in the press. But it is undeniable that the nascent industry is strategically important with numerous beneficial uses being discovered all the time. Consider the following uses:

    • search and rescue operations
    • inspections in hazardous environments like high-voltage power lines
    • wildfire tracking and containment
    • agricultural use where farmers can inspect their crops to efficiently identify and fix problems
    If the FAA has their way, these uses and many others like them will stop cold in their tracks. Many people will lose their livelihoods. Productivity will suffer and more people will be put at risk. The US will fall further behind in a strategically important new technology. We need the FAA to "fast track” a simple “light-handed” framework for small model aircraft that doesn’t stifle the industry and allows for the safe shared use of the NAS until more comprehensive rules can be put in place.
     
  5. jadebox

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    In addition to sending your comments to the FAA, you can support the AMA's effort by making a donation at:

    https://www.modelaircraft.org/supportama/donations.aspx

    Select "Government Relations/Advocacy" to support the AMA's efforts to challenge the FAA's rulemaking.

    You don't need to join or be a member of the AMA to donate.

    -- Roger
     
  6. Visioneer

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  7. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    2 DAYS LEFT! :shock:

    C'mon people, go and comment. It couldn't be easier and YOU can help make a difference in the regulations the FAA will impose on our hobby.
     
  8. JPSLV

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  9. Visioneer

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    Please consider joining the comment crowd ...

    From http://www.examiner.com/article/respons ... ent-period

    After more than two weeks of barely registering a blip on the Federal Aviation Administration's radar, a late wave of interested members of the public have taken to the Internet and weighed in on proposed regulations on domestic use of drones.

    On June 23, The FAA opened public comment for the interpretation of its Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which covers radio-controlled planes and helicopters and drones for commercial and hobby use.

    The comment period launched in conjunction with the agency's publication of an advisory notice stating that model aircraft and drones should "not interfere with manned aircraft, be flown within sight of the operator and be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes." In addition the guidelines state that operators flying within five miles of an airport must notify the airport operator and air traffic control tower."

    During the first 18 days of comment fewer than 3,000 people offered opinions at the Regulations.gov website. The low number represents a near universal silence from the hundreds of thousands of small-business owners and amateur enthusiasts who use radio-controlled aircraft and drones in the United States.

    However, by the last days of the open period, which closes Friday, nearly 25,000* comments have been received, and more flow in as the hours tick down.

    Comments from model-aircraft and radio-control enthusiasts show overwhelming objection to the FAA's guidelines, saying the need to alert an airport to the use of a drone tens of feet from the ground constitutes a "draconian" measure. In addition, many also cite the "within sight" rule as overly restrictive because many users employ first-person-view controls, which allow pilots to see where the aircraft is going via a mounted camera.

    Many attribute the late wave of comments to the Academy of Model Aeronautics, a 165,000-member association that supports model and radio-controlled aircraft hobbyists and business owners. The group recently posted numerous calls to action to members via newsletters, emails and videos asking them to weigh in on the rules before the deadline expired.


    *As of 7/24/14 26,530 comments have been registered on the gov't site.

    Don't simply rely on others to save an activity you enjoy!
     
  10. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    I am confused at why there are not more comments? C'mon, there are 165,000 AMA members and only 30,000 comments. Where are these members? If you care about this hobby, comment people! If you do nothing you are part of the problem.
     
  11. Visioneer

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  12. SanCap

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    Comment Submitted.
     
  13. Visioneer

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    From the AMA today:

    FAA grants comment extension at the request of AMA

    At the request of the AMA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a 60-day extension for the public comment period (Docket No. FAA-2014-0396) for FAA's Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft established by Congress as part of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
    The 60-day extension establishes the new deadline for comments as September 23, 2014.

    In the United States Department of Transportation/FAA notice due to publish in the Federal Register on July 25, 2014, the FAA noted the following:

    "On July 16, 2014, the Academy of Model Aeronautics submitted a request to extend the comment period by 60 days, citing the need to "educate the aeromodeling community, clarify the issues, and respond to questions regarding the impact that the interpretive rule has on various aspects of the modeling activity." The FAA agrees that additional time for the submission of comments would be helpful, and therefore has decided to extend the comment period until September 23, 2014. The FAA expects that the additional time for comments will allow the affected community to prepare meaningful comments which will help the FAA to determine what clarifications to the interpretation may be necessary."

    Your Action is needed now

    The administrative rulemaking notice and comment process is the means by which the FAA can address these concerns and make any definitive changes to the rule. Your comments need to be detailed, meaningful, and constructive.

    We are asking all of our members and everyone who has an interest in the future of model aviation to participate in this process.
     
  14. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    Great news! Now everyone who missed out has the chance to comment! :)
     
  15. BigTulsa

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    And how many people was it that said the AMA was worthless? :eek:
     
  16. Visioneer

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    Many ... Mostly those who had no first hand knowledge thereof.
     
  17. Wedeliver

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    bump
     
  18. CUTTHEMUSIC

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    What exactly is everyone leaving for their comments? What I would like to say to the FAA and what I should say are two totally different things.
     
  19. SanCap

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    Here is a guide https://m.app.box.com/view_shared/fvl2k6bm5x1za922mzse
     
  20. SFOPhantom

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    Re: AMA Requests YOU Send Comment to FAA Re: Their Rulemakin

    Hi all,

    this is for the USA only

    Of course you should be an RC - club member in you country where you are flying.

    For the USA, become a AMA member. Those are the guys who made and will make it happen that FAA is not really messing with the RC club members. So far they were able to extend the dead line until September. While every single voice counts a big group has an even bigger voice.....

    As you all know the problems come from the you-tubers and the little group of guys or girls who have to fly there machines in an active airplane flight path. All the rest is more or less harmless as they understand these flying cameras are to be used to have fun or better to make some money in the future.

    I do believe that there will be some licensing system coming towards us, like driving a car. There will be some sort of weight class and if you want to use a UAV to take pictures... you will have to go through a special course and so forth.

    Right now the FAA try's to block everything, as an AMA member we are trying to hold on to our rules and regulations which have been written into Law along time ago.

    My advice for all you DJI pilots is to become an AMA member here in the USA.

    only my two cents on this whole mess......... the government.