[headline: Travels, connections, efforts, and the future]
[pull quote if needed: “How else could you meet so many people having fun?”]
This year was quite busy. I saw the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Canada, and almost Mexico. I was in at least 22 states and visited two foreign countries. I met a lot of people and as a result have numerous new modeling friends. As AMA president, I am very enthusiastic in leading a great team. How else could you meet so many people having fun?
It appears that the FAI may be beginning to understand that their Eurocentric philosophy must change in order to satisfy the needs of the entire world. I was at a hobby shop near Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. and met one of the modeling leaders from Europe. This gentleman certainly understands our needs and is helping generate the focus of the CIAM Bureau in a global perspective. It would be helpful if several more shared this global perspective.
The hierarchy of the FAI now includes a couple of leaders from a country with issues somewhat similar to those of the US. It will be interesting to see if this insight creates some gestures that might benefit the AMA and other groups throughout the world.
I recently spent time in Washington meeting with the leaders of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. The discussion focused on generating an educational program for the neophyte in unmanned vehicle operation.
There are far too many people flying these vehicles with little knowledge of how they are programmed and the safety precautions that one must follow. It was felt that the AMA Safety Code is the primary document that should govern unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operation.
It was also noted that the FAA now prohibits flying over large crowds where 30,000 or more people are gathered. This includes athletic stadiums and racetracks. In the future, you will see documents and media focused on the safe and proper use of UAVs.
Another effort in Washington included our attendance at the National Aeronautic Association Awards Banquet. The Brewer Trophy was created to recognize an individual, group, or organizations for significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the US.
I had the pleasure of presenting the Brewer Award to Betsy Schmid and Trip Barber from the National Association of Rocketry (NAR). The association certainly deserves this recognition. The AMA just recently signed a five-year extension to our working agreement with the NAR, with the hopes of continuing our constructive relationship.
A special thank-you goes to Mitch Rose for his service as political advisor for the AMA in Washington. His knowledge and effort have been beneficial to our crusade in the political arena. Mitch’s ability is illustrated in the fact that he is now the senior vice president of Government Affairs for Comcast NBC Universal.
As the New Year evolves, I hope you continue your focus on making model aviation safe. Illustrating our safe attitude will allow continued advancement for our hobby within the ever-challenging political arena.