Update from AMA executive director
(EDITOR'S NOTE: After contacting the AMA executive director on this matter, Flying Lines received this response, which helps to clarify the issue. Neverthless, AMA would appreciate efforts by all modelers to influence the FAA on this matter. Below is AMA ED Dave Mathewson's response:)
We came to an agreement a few years ago with the arm of the FAA that issues TFRs that control-line specific flying sites would not be included in the TFR process. They recognized the difference and were/are comfortable with this understanding. Ive heard nothing at all that would indicate the FAA is taking a different approach to this than what has been our understanding.
AMAs position has been and will continue to be that control-line models do not pose a risk to the National Airspace System (Which is supposed to be the FAAs primary concern) and, therefore should not be subject to rules or restrictions pertaining to sites where other modeling disciplines are flown.
Actually, our primary argument is that the Special Rule for Model Aircraft only calls for notifying an airport authority of model aircraft activity within five miles of an airport. And, the FAAs interpretation of the rule, that the authority must grant permission for the modeling activity to take place, is flawed and in conflict with PL 112-95.
AMA alerts modelers to proposed FAA rule
The Academy of Model Aeronautics has issued an alert to members that the Federal Aviation Administration has proposed rules that are unacceptable to the membership, particularly in regard to flying model aircraft near airports.
The issue is cloaked in a great deal of language that's difficult for the average person to interpret, but the bottom line is that the FAA appears to be proposing that, at any time a model airplane is flown within five miles of an airport, the modeler must get permission from the airport.
More importantly for control-line modelers, the FAA rule appears to make no distinction between radio control aircraft and control-line (tethered) aircraft.
There is a comment period, during which it is advised that all modelers with a concern about this issue contact the FAA through their public comment process -- and maybe contact your own representative in Congress, to make sure that this rule is not adopted as is. At the very least, control-line modelers should request that any rule being developed specifically exempt tethered models from the regulation.
The attached pdf documents provide an explanation of the issue and links to the comment process.
This page was upated June 30, 2014