AMA and FAA Reach an Agreement: DC SFRA Back Open to Model Aircraft
AMA and your District IV Government Relations Committee are pleased to report we have reached an agreement with the FAA that allows our members to fly once more inside the DC Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA). On Wednesday, February 10th, you may begin flying operations again.
It is important to note there is no change to the 15nm Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) in DC. The FRZ will continue to be a no-fly zone.
In regards to the DC SFRA, the FAA has issued a permanent NOTAM. This outlines specific parameters to recreational flyers in order to fly in the SFRA. These parameters include flying under a 400' altitude ceiling, only flying platforms that weigh 55 lbs. or less, and only flying during daytime hours. These parameters will apply to everyone flying for recreational purposes inside the SFRA.
We know that AMA members fly safely and responsibly. However, it is critically important that everyone wishing to fly inside the SFRA follow these restrictions and rules. Additionally, we ask that you help pass the word to as many people as possible about these restrictions to ensure everyone knows the limits before taking flight. Ray Stinchcomb, your District IV Government Relations Coordinator, will address these restrictions in an analysis shortly.
While this is a permanent NOTAM to the DC SFRA at the present time, we are working with the FAA to allow special waivers for events. Additionally, if there are no problems with the security partners over time, we will work to obtain permanent waivers for our operations.
The AMA and your District IV Government Relations Committee are continuing efforts to work for you in representing your interests. As we work through the specifics with the FAA, we will continue to update you as quickly as possible. We greatly appreciate your patience to date, but please understand it will take some time to solve these issues.
All of us involved in this effort, including the FAA, do not have any desire to stop recreational flying and enjoyment of this hobby. One of the functions the FAA has is "encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology" that includes hobby and recreational aviation.
As more and more issues surface on the city, county and state level, we would like to add a few good modelers to our district committee. If you are an active or retired congressional leader or lawyer that understands the legislative processes please drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ray Stinchcomb an email email@example.com . Let us know your willingness and how you might be able to help represent our hobby by educating our representatives about model aviation.
Now, Go fly and have fun safely.
Vice PresidentLawrence Harville