Model aircraft have flown recreationally within the safety guidelines of the AMA for more than 80 years and have achieved an excellent safety record. Find out how to safely integrate commercial flights at your flying site.
Whether it’s a local business testing its equipment or a fire department training first responders, AMA clubs are often approached to allow commercial operations at their flying sites. Although there are various aspects to consider before any non-recreational operation, AMA encourages its clubs to take advantage of these opportunities. Partnerships with local businesses or public safety offices can build rapport and be a donation source for clubs to host future events or use toward minor site improvements.
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When clubs welcome commercial flying, they attract new pilots to their field who often become interested in fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft. Education is the key to ensuring that new hobbyists fly within the guidelines and know how and where to fly safely. Our hobby has faced many challenges and we know the entire modeling community benefits when we speak with one voice. Allowing non-recreational flights at your site will establish the club as innovators in the aeromodeling community—a great reputation when working with your community leaders and legislators.
Edit: If your flying site is not owned by the club, permission from the property owner will need to
be obtained to use the site for commercial ventures.
The commercial entity should obtain and carry its own insurance coverage. In most cases they will have to name the property owner as an additional insured. Preferably, we would also want them to add your club and the AMA as additional insureds to their policy. This would extend the commercial coverage procured by the entity to the club (and AMA) for liability incidents caused by them and might alleviate some of insurance concerns.
If the commercial entity causes an accident and the club is named in a claim/suit, the Westchester policy provided through AMA would respond with a defense on behalf of the club until a coverage determination has been made.