FAA clarifies power of local authorities

The FAA posted this press release on their website to explain the power cities and municipalities have over drone flights. In short, they are only able to prohibit taking off and landing on land they own.

More information can be found on the FAA’s website here:
Press Release – FAA Statement–Federal vs. Local Drone Authority

Interesting that the commission was formed in May but the press release did not come out until July!

So if you hand catch and take off on their land it would be ok???

I can only assume the FAA released this now due to an overwhelming number of people asking them about it. US law has stated the FAA has exclusive authority for some time now.

I suspect you won’t be able to get around the rules that easily. If local authorities were smart, they’d just state that “no drones are allowed” in those locations where they do not want people taking off and/or landing.

…except that if you’re a hobbyist, hand-catching violates the AMA safety guidelines.

True. However, if you’re not following the AMA as your community-based safety guidelines of choice, then you don’t have to follow the AMA guidelines.

What other nationwide CBO is there?

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 states a community-based organization is an organization that:

  1. is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

  2. is exempt from tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

  3. the mission of which is demonstrably the furtherance of model aviation;

  4. provides a comprehensive set of safety guidelines for all aspects of model aviation addressing the assembly and operation of model aircraft and that emphasize safe aeromodeling operations within the national airspace system and the protection and safety of individuals and property on the ground, and may provide a comprehensive set of safety rules and programming for the operation of unmanned aircraft that have the advanced flight capabilities enabling active, sustained, and controlled navigation of the aircraft beyond visual line of sight of the operator;

  5. provides programming and support for any local charter organizations, affiliates, or clubs; and

  6. provides assistance and support in the development and operation of locally designated model aircraft flying sites.

While US law does not name a list of accepted nationwide community-based organizations (nor does the FAA since they have not been tasked to do so), here are some organizations that claim to be nationwide community-based organizations:

Thank you. Great info. I’ve heard of DUG but never heard of DroneUp. I had dismissed DUG as a legit nationwide CBO quite a while ago because they don’t seem to be nationwide.

I’ve just looked at DroneUp and their safety guidelines.

I don’t understand how they can specifically and deliberately contradict what’s written in Section 336 (i.e. notifying airports in Class G). Also, I can’t find evidence that they are nationwide or not nationwide.

And I don’t like their statement here regarding legal hobbyist flying:

According to the the FAA, to fly legally in the U.S. a drone pilot must either hold a Part 107 Remote Pilot certificate for commercial operation OR fly by guidelines developed by a recreational/hobbyist drone organization such as DroneUp.

That’s not correct at all. This statement has a least a half dozen errors in it. It’s not “according to FAA”, it’s according to the 112th Congress. Who said a Part 107 certificate has to be “for commercial operation”? They completely left out any reference to Section 336. They don’t qualify their organization as being nationwide. It’s almost as if they want Section 336 to be a secret.

Here’s another odd page:

The FAA has specified 2 ways to fly a drone legally in the US:
1. Earn a Part 107 certificate, allowing you to earn money as a drone operator; or
2. Be a member of a drone organization and be certified by them.

What??? Everybody knows we don’t have to be a member of a CBO, and we certainly do not need a certificate from a CBO to fly legally. What a crock.

Sorry, but IMO, these guys have way too many fundamental issues for me to put my trust in them as a legitimate nationwide CBO.

Also, I’m reluctant to cut support to the AMA, since it seems to me the AMA has a much better connections and is much more active in lobbying congress in support of the hobbyist community than any of these other outfits. And AMA has a proven track record since I am certain 336 exists due to AMA’s lobbying efforts. If we leave everything to these other guys, we’ll be back to collecting stamps for a hobby in five years.

I will stick with the AMA.

Thanks again.

US law takes precedence over CBO guidelines, so you’d of course need to follow US law if your CBO of choice has any guidelines like that.

I remember waaayyy back when and it was fun to fly and no worries :grinning:

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I guess the local authorities aren’t that smart. LOL!