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Federal Appeals Court: The FAA's Registration Rule Violates Section 336

John A. Taylor beats the FAA in Federal Appeals Court and voids the FAA registration for drones and model aircraft.

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Is This The End of Meaningless Hobby FAA Registration?

John A. Taylor, and RCGroups member, made all of us aware of a case he filed on March 14th, 2017, challenging the FAA's Small Unmanned Aircraft Registration. Taylor, a Maryland attorney, successfully argued that section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 expressly prohibits any further regulation, including registration, of model aircraft.

Today, the Federal Appeals Court of the District of Columbia rules that drone and hobby model aircraft registration did violate the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (section 336), and rendered it void. This is a huge victory for hobby model aircraft pilots that were forced to comply with FAA regulations or face stiff penalties. Is this the end of this dark chapter in model aviation? One would hope, but given the FAA propensity of fighting hobby model aircraft and their pilots, the Federal Aviation Administration may retaliate in some manner; let's hope that doesn't happen. But for now, join us in celebrating a David versus Goliath-style victory for model aviation!

CLICK HERE for the RCGroups thread started by John A. Taylor

The official ruling the the Federal Appeals Court of the District of Columbia

Quotes From the Ruling by The United States Court of Appeals

"In short, the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act provides that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft,” yet the FAA’s 2015 Registration Rule is a “rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.” Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler. The Registration Rule is unlawful as applied to model aircraft."

"The FAA’s arguments to the contrary are unpersuasive. First, the FAA contends that the Registration Rule is authorized by pre-existing statutory provisions that are unaffected by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Specifically, the FAA notes that, under longstanding statutes, aircraft are statutorily required to register before operation. See 49 U.S.C. §§ 44101, 44103. But the FAA has never previously interpreted that registration requirement to apply to model aircraft. The FAA responds that nothing in the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act prevents the FAA from changing course and applying that registration requirement to model aircraft now. The FAA claims that the Registration Rule is therefore not a new requirement at all, but merely a “decision to cease its exercise of enforcement discretion. We disagree"

"The FAA’s Registration Rule violates Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. We grant Taylor’s petition for review of the Registration Rule, and we vacate the Registration Rule to the extent it applies to model aircraft. "

Read the final ruling here.

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Old 05-19-2017, 12:20 PM
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:37 PM
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This is good news.... I hope
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:38 PM
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Sounds good.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:39 PM
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Yep. Cautious optimism.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:44 PM
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So, does this mean a class action is forth coming by about how many Model Airplane and other RC Enthusiasts?
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:51 PM
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So is the FAA going to refund the five bucks I had to pay for registration? LOL. Let's hope this is good for the hobby and doesn't cause some more new BS legislation that ends up being worse.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:53 PM
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"In short, the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act provides that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft,” yet the FAA’s 2015 Registration Rule is a “rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.” Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler. The Registration Rule is unlawful as applied to model aircraft."

Um, didn't I read this same argument here, and on several other boards? Why yes, yes I did.
Seems like everyone "got it" except the FAA. Glad it was spelled out to them in terms they'll understand.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:59 PM
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Wonder what the FAA is going to do with that huge registry of model airplane and drone pilots...
...BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!

Ha!


Glad I never buckled in on registration.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:01 PM
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We know from experience that the FAA doesn't like to get their face slapped. Makes me wonder what will come next.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vapor Trails View Post
Wonder what the FAA is going to do with that huge registry of model airplane and drone pilots...
...BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!

Ha!


Glad I never buckled in on registration.
I had to. It was required at my home (and other places) field.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
We know from experience that the FAA doesn't like to get their face slapped. Makes me wonder what will come next.
This! I don't know what their appeal process will be but I bet they come back with something.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:08 PM
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:09 PM
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The only appeal is to SCOTUS and most think that would be unlikely to be granted even if they asked.

My best guess is they try to get 336 removed from the current re-authorization act, then the prohibition on new regulations will be gone.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:09 PM
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Isn't this just a wonderful coincidence that the ruling came out during Joe Nall week?
I think all the Nallers should have a party. They could call it "Eff the Eff Eff A," pass out Sharpies and everyone can scratch out their numbers at the same time...
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