As mentioned in last month’s Model Aviation, the FAA published its Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on February 23. Simply stated, the NPRM is a notice in the Federal Register that illustrates the FAA’s intent to publish a particular rule, creating a process by which public comments can be made concerning the proposed ruling.
As you are reading this, the deadline to file those comments was April 24. Unless an extension was granted, the FAA will now evaluate the comments and possibly adjust areas to accommodate the specific needs. This will probably involve considerable time.
Please keep in mind the NPRM is not a written rule as of this time. Nothing has changed in the way we conduct our efforts toward safe flight. I expect each member to abide by the AMA Safety Code.
AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson, Director of Public Relations & Government Affairs Rich Hanson, Executive Vice President Gary Fitch, and I met with Peggy Gilligan, Jim Williams, and several staff members of the FAA. Also included in the meeting were nine government staff lawyers.
The meeting was cordial, but because of our legal action, little progress was made with our opinions concerning the Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. It would benefit us all if our differences could be resolved.
The development of the Know Before You Fly program was viewed as a positive endeavor. This program continues to grow with the addition of several new supporters including Futaba, Hobbico, and Horizon. If you want to learn more about the focus of this program, please review this website: http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.
On another perspective, it is in our best interests to provide those who are new to the hobby and attempting to fly for the first time a safe place to learn to fly. Flying in a congested environment is not smart. Most of the new operators want to enjoy their efforts.
I commend the clubs that have generated programs to introduce the neophyte to what is expected to fly safely. Does your club provide the assistance and training newcomers need?
The AMA Foundation held its first in-person meeting near Washington, D.C. I was impressed with the variety of expertise presented by those on the board of directors. It was decided the prime focus of the foundation would be directed toward education and advocacy. A strategic plan that coincides with that of the AMA is being produced.
Donating to the AMA Foundation will certainly help provide the monetary assistance needed to continue AMA’s efforts. The AMA Foundation thanks the family of Dewey Broberg Jr. for creating a memorial scholarship that will be available in 2016 for high school seniors. Applicants must be planning to pursue a career in engineering, mechanics, or a similar field.
As we enter the new flying season, many events are being planned. If you haven’t applied for your event sanctions, please do so now. Advance advertising in the AMA Contest Calendar will allow interested participants time to make plans to attend. It will also aid in preparing for the event.
While you are planning your contest of fly-in, keep in mind the absolute need for safety. Endangering others for the enjoyment of the small minority is not intelligent.