Hobbyist LAANC Access Is Just Around the Corner: An Interview with Tyler Dobbs, Government Affairs Director at the Academy of Model Aeronautics

Hobbyist LAANC Access Is Just Around the Corner: An Interview with Tyler Dobbs, Government Affairs Director at the Academy of Model Aeronautics

Tyler Dobbs is the Government Affairs Director at the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), one of the largest model aviation associations in the world. The AMA is a self-supporting non-profit, whose primary aim is to promote the development of model aviation as a recognized sport and worthwhile recreation activity. They currently boast a membership of over 195,000. In his role, Tyler works closely with the FAA and U.S. legislators to represent the interests of recreational drone pilots in the creation of policy and legislation, and to help promote safe flying practices. We wanted to sit down with Tyler to learn more about what the AMA does for hobbyist drone pilots, when hobbyists might get access to LAANC for instant airspace authorizations to fly in controlled airspace, and to hear his opinion on how hobbyists are represented in policy-making. Begin interview — What is the AMA and what does it do? The AMA is a membership organization for those who fly recreational UAS or model aircraft. The majority of our members fly more traditional-style aircraft, like fixed-wing planes and helicopters, but drones are a fast-growing segment of our community. The AMA has about 2,400 flying sites across the country. We work with parks departments, the FAA, and all levels of the government to be a facilitator for our members to work and to get flying sites. We also work to keep our members up-to-date on regulations, and to promote the hobby to government agencies, parks departments, and other places like that.

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