FAA To Limit Hobbyist Flying In Their Upcoming Drone Rulings & How You Can Be Heard

In a notice from our friends at, it seems the FAA has changed its tune in regards to those flying hobby aircraft and will include regulations regarding their use in addition to their regulations on drone usage.
As we mentioned in our story about the FAA telling law enforcement how to enforce their current rules, there was a very pointed and lengthy section differentiating drones and hobby aircraft such as model airplanes. However that distinction will be made smaller if the FAA carries forward with their newly revealed intentions to regulate both kinds of aircraft.
It’s interesting to note that this announcement came yesterday late afternoon, just days after the incident at the White House where someone flew a drone onto the premises. Though I’m sure the FAA’s decision is purely coincidental…
Planely Spoken points out an interesting fact: that Congress actually added the following to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act to protect hobbyists:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this subtitle, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft . . . .

Obviously the FAA’s intent to regulate flies in the face of this addition to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. However it appears the FAA is moving forward because their doing so will only affect those “…operating model aircraft who endanger the safety of the national airspace system.”
You can read a portion of what the FAA has in mind from Planely Spoken below. As they say in closing, now is the time to speak out about these regulations (and of course the regulations on drones), something the folks at Planely Spoken can help you do. So for the full story on FAA regulation and how to make your voice heard, be sure to visit

Breaking News: FAA Poised to Include Limitations on Hobbyist / Recreational Use of UAS in proposed new UAS Rules

By Mark McKinnon and Lisa Ellman on January 28, 2015
The FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Small UAS has been under review before the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) since October 25. This review is the last step before the NPRM is released to the public for notice and comment. Late this afternoon, the brief summary of the proposed rule on the OIRA website underwent an unannounced change, and the following clause was modified, with the newly added language we have highlighted below:

The FAA is proposing to amend its regulations to adopt specific rules for the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS). These changes would address the classification of sUAS, certification of sUAS pilots and visual observers, registration of sUAS, approval of sUAS operations, and sUAS operational limits. The NPRM also proposes regulations for all sUAS, including operating standards for model aircraft and low performance (e.g., toy) operations, to increase the safety and efficiency of the NAS. The FAA and sUAS community lack sufficient formal safety data regarding unmanned operations to support granting traditional, routine access to the NAS. This proposed rule would result in the regular collection of safety data from the user community and help the FAA develop new regulations and expand sUAS access to the NAS.

See the full story at

Written by Jake Fruia

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