On Friday, May 19 the federal appeals court struck down the FAA’s registration requirement for recreational model aircraft. You can read the opinion here.
The Court ruling is effective immediately. As such, if you have not registered with the FAA, you are no longer required under the law to do so. For those of you who have already registered with the FAA, you may be wondering what this means for you. We are currently working to obtain answers from the FAA and will share more information as it becomes available.
Please keep in mind that this is a fluid situation and there is always the possibility of a renewed push in Congress to compel federal registration for model aircraft. If that happens, rest assured that AMA will continue to advocate for your interests and keep you well informed every step of the way. We have repeatedly argued that federal registration for our community is duplicative and unnecessary, as our members already register their model aircraft with AMA. In addition, our 80-year history of safe and responsible flying demonstrates that we’re not the problem. We shouldn’t be burdened by overly broad regulations.
The ruling also bodes well for our pending court challenge to the FAA’s interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (also known as the Interpretative Rule). That petition, which AMA filed in 2014, is currently before the same Court that today rejected the FAA’s registration rule and affirmed the strength of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, otherwise known as Section 336. This gives us hope for our continued fight against the Interpretive Rule.
We understand that these policy and legal developments are sometimes dizzying and complicated, and they are rarely resolved quickly. We’re nearly three years into our challenge to the Interpretive Rule, for example. We truly appreciate your sticking with us while we press on in the fight to protect your right to fly, free from unnecessary and burdensome restrictions.
AMA Government Affairs