Recently an FAA Memorandum that addressed altitude and flying restrictions in controlled airspace was circulated around the internet. This memorandum was intended as FAA guidance to educate air traffic control facilities (ATC) on best methods to respond to recreational flyers seeking authorization, not as guidance to recreational operators.
Recent legislation under Section 349 (c) states operators in controlled airspace will be required to seek authorization from towered airports, unless flying from a charted flying site. We successfully championed that if you are flying at an AMA flying field or sanctioned event, you can continue flying by following AMA’s safety program and within the existing agreements your club or contest director has with nearby airports.
AMA has been in contact with the FAA regarding this memorandum, and we have been assured that our flying sites’ current agreements with air traffic control facilities (ATC) will be honored and our members can continue flying within AMA’s safety program, as usual. This memorandum was not intended for public distribution, and out of context can read as problematic or contradictory to previous messaging to protect our operations. The FAA clarified this memorandum is just one of many steps in the Section 349 implementation process.
Future steps in the implementation process will include the need for letters of agreements (LOA) between AMA flying sites in controlled airspace and nearby ATC. Updates and guidance on how clubs should proceed with LOAs will be provided to our members in the coming days. Please monitor social media and www.modelaircraft.org/amagov for the latest information. You can reach our offices at 765-287-1256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.