Consequences and Impact of the “FAA REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2018”


First, I want to thank everyone that participated in the call to action to oppose this legislation.  Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, President Trump signed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (“2018 Act”) into law on Oct 5, 2018.  Sad news to be sure, yet according to AMA, our voices were heard loud and clear and AMA is still in negotiations with the FAA as it pertains to certain provisions of the 2018 Act.

How is the 2018 Act different than the legislation that was passed in 2012 (i.e. the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012)?  Primarily, as it pertains to modelers and hobbyists, the 2018 Act no longer has a “Special Rule for Model Aircraft” (formerly referred to as Section 336).  There are, however, several provisions in the 2018 Act relating to our hobby that were championed by our government affairs team at AMA.  Some of these provisions require continued dialogue and coordination with the FAA.  The provisions, in the 2018 Act, which primarily impact our hobby are contained in Section 349 (please see attached).  One of the most impactful provisions of Section 349 is the rule limiting operation of aircraft to no more than 400 feet above ground level.

Fortunately, according to AMA, there are NO changes that AMA members need to follow immediately.

AMA is telling its members that we should continue to fly in accordance with AMA’s safety guidelines and local club rules, and that existing agreements between AMA clubs and the FAA should continue to be followed.  I would add that neither AAM nor the City of Arvada are in a position or inclined (in any way) to enforce FAA regulations at this time.

The most important take-a-way from all of this is that, for now, we are operating under the same set of AMA guidelines and Club rules that have always been in place.  Of utmost importance to our future, is the continued safe operation of model aircraft according current AMA and Club rules as AMA continues to work cooperatively and diligently with FAA’s leadership in Washington to address the issues that impact our hobby.  

You can learn more about this legislation and the work that AMA is doing with the FAA at this link:

Lastly, the end of the year is quickly approaching.  I would like to encourage everyone, especially those of you who have calendar year renewals, to get your AAM and AMA memberships renewed soon.

Best regards and happy holidays,

Joe Pirozzoli, Director Public Relations
Arvada Associated Modelers

Posted in AMA, FAA.