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Fri, Mar 01, 2024

FAA Authorizes Academy of Model Aeronautics Events

NOTAM Pathway Secures Model Events Sans Remote ID

After much ado, concerns about event sanctions held by model aircraft groups associated with the Academy of Model Aeronautics have been put to rest.

Under the authorization, the FAA grants AMA members the ability to operate without broadcasting remote ID information at AMA Sanctioned Events. It's great news for the group, who has been operating with trepidation since a 2021 Final Rule made it seem like they wouldn't have a pathway to comply. Not all lightweight little model planes have the space, aerodynamics, or power to drive a remote ID module, but without authorization, they would be effectively grounded for large events.

Since the 2021 rule regarding remote ID was published, the Academy of Model Aeronautics has been advocating for a streamlined FAA process to exempt operations at their appropriately sanctioned events. Under the system, Contest Directors/Event Managers of these Sanctioned Events will be required to issue a NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) for their event at least 24 hours in advance. The Academy gave some useful tips to those filing a NOTAM, handy enough.

UAS operations will generally only need a quarter-nautical-mile radius of airspace, with larger sites possibly using half a mile in total. For a multi-day event, the same start and finish time each day allows the publication of a single NOTAM. If those times vary day to day, it will require a separate NOTAM to be filed for each day of the event. For simplicity's sake, therefore, the Academy encourages standard start and end time throughout.

The news helps kick off 2024 for AMA members, and a busy year it’s shaping up to be. Surging interest in drones, racing, and model aircraft building mean that the AMA has plenty to file over the next 7 months.

FMI: www.modelaircraft.org


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