AMA recognizes the difficult circumstances the National Park Service (NPS) is faced with and understand their concern over the growing occurrence of inappropriate and disruptive personal use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS, commonly referred to as 'drones') in our national parks. And, we understand the need to take corrective action to manage this situation.
However, it's unfortunate that the NPS finds it necessary to extensively ban the personal use of this technology in our national parks and on 84 million acres of public land. We're hopeful the proposed follow-on Servicewide regulation regarding the use of unmanned aircraft is promulgated in a timely fashion and will provide a means by which park visitors will be allowed to use this technology safely, responsibly and under appropriate conditions.
The Academy would like to thank the park service for the policy provision allowing model aircraft activity occurring under existing special use permits to continue. It's important to note that model aircraft enthusiasts have operated on public and private lands for decades, and continue to do so in a safe and responsible fashion and in a manner that is harmonious with the community and the surrounding environment.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics, founded in 1936, continues to be devoted to national airspace safety. It serves as the nation's collective voice for approximately 164,000 modelers in 2,400 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Headquartered in Muncie IN, AMA is a membership organization representing those who fly model aircraft for recreation and educational purposes.