No More Foreign RC Hobby Rulemaking in the United States

Re: the Taylor case -“Vindication of the rights of the Congressionally protected.” While this is true, we all know that the FAA dislikes challenges to their authority. This ruling represents another opportunity for us to advocate for ourselves, as we obviously have few friends working the hill for us.

During the FAA Drone Registration Task Force, supposed drone “advocates” and experts wouldn’t even support written dissent from the AMA to be entered into the record. We also have to understand that the hobby registration figures would suggest a very large number of folks who have been and are excluded from the “public” rule-making process.  So, in that spirit, the RCAPA has put this letter together for you to cut, paste and customise a suitable version for you to send to your Federal representation.  

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Date
The Honorable ________
Office Address
United States House of Representatives/United State Senate
City, State, Zip

Dear Representative/Senator ______________: 

As a hobbyist and a constituent, I urge you to support members of the aero-modeling community in telling the FAA “no more!” to Foreign influence in rulemaking in the National Airspace System (NAS). The 112th Congress passed the FAA Modernization And Reform Act of 2012.

SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this sub- title, the Administrator of 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—

(1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;

(2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;

(3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds un- less otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization;

(4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not inter- fere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and

(5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides 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 (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating pro- cedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic con- trol tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport)). (b) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section shall

be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator to pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who en- danger the safety of the national airspace system.

(c) MODEL AIRCRAFT DEFINED.—In this section, the term ‘‘model aircraft’’ means an unmanned aircraft that is—

(1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere;

(2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and

(3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes.

Foreign manufacturing representatives have issued statements supporting FAA registration of hobby aircraft. The Taylor case ruling stands for the vindication of the rights of the Congressionally protected. This case was stunning in that the court unanimously agreed that the FAA could not regulate model aircraft flyers who fell into the protections of 336. The court evenly sharply said, “Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler. ” 

We urge you to tell the FAA that they have an obligation to follow the laws enacted by the United States Congress and not those notions of foreign influence.

Thank you for your consideration and please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this issue further.

Sincerely, 

Your Name
Your Title
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip
Your Phone Number 

Find your House Representative –

http://www.house.gov

To find your Senate Representation

https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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Patrick Egan
Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).