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On Jan. 13, the FAA announced that it will partner with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) to develop safety guidelines for flying model aircraft and UAS in U.S. airspace. This formal agreement demonstrates the FAA’s recognition that UAV technology is quickly gaining popularity among hobbyists and enthusiasts, which will not be quelled by a lack of clear-cut guidelines.

According to a statement published by the FAA on their website: “[I]t makes perfect sense for the FAA’s UAS Integration Office and the Academy for Model Aeronautics — the national body for model aviation for 77 years — to work together toward ensuring modelers fly their model aircraft/UAS without any risk to manned aircraft or to people and property on the ground.”

Under the new agreement, the AMA will establish and communicate “relevant and timely safety information,” including “guidelines for emerging technologies such as model UAS.” The AMA is also responsible for encouraging a “positive and cooperative environment” toward FAA regulations.

As Jim Williams, head of the UAS Integration Office, commented, “Safe model UAS operations will help to ensure that this industry continues to grow and bring the joy of recreational or hobby flying to more people than ever before.”