I'm writing today to ask for your help in addressing a very serious concern that appears to be sweeping the country.
As of today, a dozen states in the US have recently begun considering state laws aimed at legislating the use of unmanned aircraft systems ('drones'). These states include California, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Virginia.
The FAA has been tasked with submitting to Congress and making publically available a five-year road map for the introduction of civil UAS into the national airspace system.
As the deadline for the FAA to submit its comprehensive plan to Congress approaches, many states are taking the initiative to draft privacy and civil liberties protections from 'drone' surveillance through state-level legislation. The twelve states listed above all have legislative initiatives in progress, most of them primarily addressing the use of UAS by law enforcement and government entities for persistent surveillance.
However, some of the legislation has troubling language that could have unintended consequences for you and me as aeromodeling enthusiasts.
AMA's Government Relations Team is working to evaluate each piece of legislation as it's being introduced and AMA is taking steps to address these concerns with the sponsors of the bill(s) and the legislative bodies in each state.
AMA is asking that you, as an AMA Leader Member, remain vigilant about any potential legislation you may become aware of in your state and report this to AMA's Government Relations Team. In order to react as quickly as possible we need your help in making us aware and keeping us informed.
Working together we can ensure that model aviation will remain safe from possibly well-intentioned but poorly written legislation. Any information that you believe would be helpful should be emailed to the AMA Government Relations Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Please regularly visit the Government Relations blog at http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/amagov/
. Or you may call Chris Brooks, AMA PR Director, at 765-287-1256, ext. 276.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Leader Member Program Coordinator