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  • AMA and MAAC

    Well, this sort of stinks for us northern regions. Thoughts?

    Thank you for supporting AMA!

    The former agreement between the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) and AMA is no longer in effect because of recent changes in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Canada’s counterpart to the FAA) Part IX and its exemption granted to MAAC and its members.

    As a result, in order to fly model aircraft in Canada as a U.S. resident, you must have a MAAC membership. There are two options to join MAAC. You can purchase a temporary 90-day foreign membership for $40 Canadian currency or a full membership for $80 Canadian. Please visit MAAC’s website for more information.

    In addition, AMA will require MAAC members to join AMA for coverage to fly at our fields and events. Affiliate membership for non-US permanent residents is $36 per year and includes insurance and competitive privileges. Click here to sign up as an AMA Affiliate member. Non-US citizens are required to follow the same model aircraft regulations that US citizens are required to follow, including registering at FAA’s Drone Zone and taking The Recreational UAS Safety Test at www.modelaircraft.org/trust. Affiliate members must follow AMA safety programming and certifications. AMA will continue to accept a MAAC member’s Turbine Operator Certificates as equivalent to the AMA Turbine waiver.

    All other non-permanent U.S. residents—including Canadians who are not MAAC members—must sign up as AMA Affiliate members to participate in model aviation activities.

    Thanks again for your support! Please reach out with any questions at [email protected] or call (765) 287-1256, extension 129.

    Happy flying,

    Angie Martin
    Membership Director
    Academy of Model Aeronautics
    (765) 287-1256 ext. 290

  • #2
    Dave - I can tell you that your Canadian colleagues are extremely unhappy about this but we are being held hostage by Transport Canada and their decision that the exemption that they granted to MAAC members flying at MAAC sanctioned sites is not extended to foreign citizens. We would have liked to see something more reasonable such as perhaps a $10 per weekend fee for our good American friends coming to Canada to fly at contests. There is lots of talk up here about whether CD's could find a way to cover the MAAC fees for US friends instead of charging entry fees. However we cannot undercut the CD's and their ability to break even on their weekend contest budgets. We are really disappointed and unhappy about this decision that effectively wipes out the long standing reciprocal agreement.

    About the only good thing is that with the differential on US vs Canadian currency, the temporary 90 day membership at $40 Canadian will cost about $30 US. Unfortunately the AMA affiliate membership will cost us closer to $50 Canadian. At the end of the day I will join the AMA because I miss flying with my good American friends.

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    • #3
      Too bad that the politics has to be this way. Personally I think the Canadian exemption for MAAC events is the right way to go. Would be nice if the FAA / AMA could work out a similar arrangement.

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      • #4
        Just to explain the exemption in a nutshell - it basically lets MAAC members at MAAC sanctioned fields, following MAAC Safety Code, to not be restricted by the "drone Remotely Piloted Aircraft regulations" in terms of altitude restrictions. There is more detail than that, but for us IMAC folks it means we can fly with the usual safety measures but not be limited by altitude ceilings. Conceptually not really any different than AMA members flying at AMA sanctioned fields following AMA Safety Code. But we kind of got blindsided by the Transport Canada exemption not applying to foreign citizens. There are some issues re fields in controlled airspace but that has not come down on us yet, maybe soon.

        If you live in upstate New York or Michigan and happen to have a cottage that you go to on the Canadian side, and perhaps fly at a Canadian MAAC field then $40 for 90 days over the summer probably makes sense. But not many people want to shell out another $40 on top of typical IMAC contest entry fees. It is frustrating for us because we wish we could attract more of our US friends to come to Canadian contests.

        For me - in a "normal" year - I try to get to 2-3 contests on the US side so I can kind of amortize the $36 AMA affiliate fee (ie $12 per contest). Not quite as painful. But I wish there was a more reasonable and affordable solution especially for our friends in the US.

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        • #5
          As a SIG IMAC should (and will) approach AMA directly on this. Maybe if just for IMAC at this point. I will take it on gladly and see what I can do. I have worked with AMA very closely back to about 2014. BUT, I really think it needs to be face to face. I likely will be up there for NATS in June and will make time to sit down with Joyce and a few others to see if we could at least come to an arrangement for the MAAC guys in IMAC coming to the states. Can not ever hurt to ask.
          Doug Pilcher
          IMAC President
          [email protected]
          (903)647-2640

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          • #6
            Thank you Doug. I was looking forward to cross-border events this season. This just adds another hurdle. In the grand scheme of things, it's not much compared to the cost of a plane, but it might be the last straw for a few guys that are willing to make the long drive across the border.

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