- James Whomsley | FliteTest
The rule that protects the RC hobby, Rule 336, is in danger of being repealed. Here's what you need to know. The commercial drone alliance along with multiple other organizations have a keen interest in repealing rule 336. UAS integration into the airspace of the United States is a hot topic right now and one of the key barriers in the way is the RC hobby. 336 has been a special rule for model aircraft but, with the removal of it, the RC hobby's future doesn't look good.
Click Here to read Rule 336 on page 67.
About Section 336
At the moment, the 'Special Rule' exempts model aircraft activity from FAA regulation. Essentially what this means is that, as long as you abide by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) guidelines, you can fly your plane or quad.
You currently have to:
Register your aircraft with the FAA as a 'modeler'
Mark your model aircraft with your personal registration number
This is a pretty simple system that came into effect a few years back. However, things might be about to change.
The threatening situation
Due to the nature of RC aircraft and drones being small unmanned craft that can freely roam the skies, they don't fit in all that well with the commercial drone alliance's plans to commercialize low-level airspace. These commercial plans include setting up low flying delivery drone flightpaths. These could spread widely across populated areas as delivery aircraft would need to land or drop parcels over individual houses or other buildings. Clearly, the organizations wishing to set these systems up think that our hobby is directly in the way.
Model aircraft are under fire.
Essentially, the commercial drone alliance and the other groups are completely at odds with free-flying in sub 400ft airspace.
What could this mean for the RC hobby?
If section 336 is repealed, it might make a very negative impact on the RC hobby and drone flying. It could include:
A minimum age limit set on piloting an RC aircraft
'Remote ID' - required transponders fixed to every RC aircraft
Restricted flying areas with widespread 'no-fly' zones
You can also read the AMA's government relations statement on the issue.
Original article at FliteTest, here.
IDRA Membership & Insurance
For more information about the International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) and how to become a member, please visit our website or find us on all social media platforms. As the world's largest association for recreational and commercial pilots, IDRA is the premier provider of primary liability insurance with worldwide coverage. This is a great and affordable service that we provide IDRA Members around the world.
If you need applicable and affordable insurance for your drone event (training, education, demos, exhibits, races, etc.) please contact us as well.
As always, stay safe, have fun, and we'll see you at the next race!