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Andy Argenio DI VP

Who Owns/Controls the Airspace Below 500 feet AGL?

Articles from UAS VISION

Before airplanes and drones existed, people owned everything above and below their land—according to the law, their rights extended “to the heavens and down to hell.” But modern aviation changed this definition in a big way. In the early 20th century Congress

declared the air a public highway, which limited land rights so that people were not trespassing every time they flew. 

    That public highway has generally been considered 500 feet and above. But airspace from the ground up to 500 feet is a gray area—no one’s ever had to fully settle who owns this airspace. Ask someone at the FAA and they’ll tell you that the agency controls (but does not own) airspace down to the ground. Yet it’s clear that landowners have some claim to the air. “Everyone agrees that the owner of land also owns the airspace above the land,” Banner says.  

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2016 Return Of District I Sponsored Events

From 2004 until 2013 I was able to allocate funds from the yearly amount budgeted for district expenses to sponsor over 25 sanctioned events. They included Huckfests, Giant Scale, Electric, IMAC, Fun-Flys, Warbird, 3D, and Float fly events at different hosting clubs throughout New England. 

    In 2014 and 2015 I had to stop sponsorship. Travel costs

for attending events, numerous meetings with clubs, public agencies, and testifying at legislative hearings depleted district funds. These additional travel expenses were necessary to address issues that threatened R/C flying and the use of public flying sites. 

    At the executive council meeting in October we approved a long delayed increase in district yearly funds to begin as of 2016.

                                                                                Read more


Camp AMA July 2016

District I Comments on DOT/FAA

Model-Aircraft Registration

On October 22 the DOT/FAA’s announced that they intended to have a registration process created and implemented for sUAS/model-aircraft before Christmas. Public comments and/or suggestions for consideration were submitted on the government website at!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-4378 .

     The total comments submitted by mid November were 4,600. On November 23, the FAA UAS Registration Task Force announced their recommendations for a registration process.

A summary from district members who discussed their views on sUAS/model aircraft registration and the task force recommendations with district officers and myself follows:

1. sUAS/model aircraft weighing up to 250 gr. (8 oz.) are considered toys and are exempted from registration.

Oppose – A weight maximum for toys at 250 gr. (8 oz.) to be excluded from registration is to low and unlikely to be registered by toy buyers. AMA Park-Pilot program has been operating model aircraft in urban areas/parks for years at a maximum 

                                                                            Read More

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FAA Small UAS Rule with New Commercial and Civil Guidelines

FAA on publishing the final small UAS rule today. The final rule will be highly beneficial to the industry overall, as it resolves many uncertainties in the law and creates an improved regulatory environment. We look forward to seeing widespread commercial and civil operations of unmanned aircraft take flight.

We are also pleased that the final rule codifies parts of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, therefore helping to maintain an exemption for model aircraft from burdensome regulation. The Special Rule was passed by Congress in 2012 and allows community-based organizations, like AMA, to lead risk mitigation and the development of appropriate safety guidelines for the operation of model aircraft devices.

Since 1936, AMA has been managing hobbyists across the country with safety guidelines and training programs. We are constantly evolving our programming to accommodate new technologies, new modeling disciplines, and a diverse community of more than 188,000 members that range from age 6 to 96. Our members have a stellar safety record due to these well-established educational programs.

We will continue to advocate for and protect our longstanding, fun and educational hobby of flying model aircraft. In the months ahead, it is critical that Congress strengthen and improve the Special Rule for Model Aircraft in the next FAA reauthorization bill. At the same time, we look forward to continuing our work with policymakers and industry partners to help increase educational opportunities, especially through the Know Before You Fly campaign.

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