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Posted On: 2014-08-13 23:11:19 ; Read: 1794 time(s)

On August 9, 2014 the annual RC Congress was held in Angeles City Flying Club in Magalang Pampanga and the crowd was in good spirits. We had representation all the way from North of Luzon right to the South of Luzon.  It was a festive day and we all had a good time.  

Shortly after lunch the organizers held another meeting to discuss about the role of RC Congress in relation to the issue on tightening regulations in regards to the use of air space by CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines).  The main reason why CAAP came up with the new regulations was highly in response to changes in regulatory rules all over the world in conjunction with the increase in popularity of UAV (Unmanned Aireal Vehicles) use in urban areas and in proximity to flight path of airplanes.  Therefore the regulatory changes of CAAP were actually more of an update to their aresnal of regulatory rules rather than a response to a negative incident that has occured within the Philippines.

As we all know, the regualtory changes occurred literally overnight rendering all forms of RC Flying illegal throughout the Philippines.  Win Dematera visit to CAAP was fortunate enough to re-clarify the position of Hobbyist from Commercial UAV operators.  Thanks to Win's close call action and quick thinking in finding a loophole in the regulatory wordings, we RC Hobbyist were able to regain our "Freedom of Flight" back from from CAAP within a week from the day the new regulation was imposed with a strong understanding that we the flying RC Community must regulate ourselves strictly and properly.  Most importantly, maintain ZERO fatality indicent within the community.
As we all know, the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) in the United States is also going through some issues in coming up with appropriate regulations for UAV restrictions and commercial use and of course certification requirements for commercial use of UAV in urban areas and its corresponding licensing requirements.  However, unlinke the Philippines, where the regulation was literally passed and was in effect overnight without organized opposition, the FAA had to deal with AMA (American Modellers Association) a body of people who represent's the RC Flying Community of the United States.  
Due to AMA's organized body and a unified voice representing the flying hobbyist in the US, the FAA was unable to immediately impose new regulations without first having to listen to AMA members before crafting or finalizing any new regulatory changes.  The main reason is because, as soon as the FAA showed its intention to impose new regulations against UAV and the RC Community, FAA received over 28,000 letters from AMA members and the like to either protest, suggest or propose some sort of solution to the problem.  Therefore, FAA was forced to postpone implementing the new regulations pending review and careful consideration in conjunction with AMA Members.  This is the power of unity.
The idea of the RC Congress is similar to the American Modeller's Association.  In the US, all RC Flyers are independently regulated by the AMA and all RC Flyers need to be members in good standing with the AMA or else they are not allowed to fly.  This means that the AMA is responsible for educating and ensuring compliance to safety for all flying hobbyist in the US.  This is the reason why they have such cohesive unity.  
In the Philippines, it is obvious to see that a regulation was passed overnight and not one organized body was able effectively lobby or even simply voice out its opininon in a formal manner worthy of it being taken seriously by CAAP.  Therefore, an association such as RC Congress is something that its time has come.  
The RC Congress meeting was all about expressing the importance of creating and participating and supporting the The RC Congress as an assocation of RC Flyers with the objective of standardising education, and ensuring compliance with standard flying procedures and safety aspects of this hobby all in the name of self regulation thus protecting the hobby for future generations to come.
It is very imporant to understand that without a unified voice and a standardized rules, training and regulations in this flying hobby, abuses can occur and much and many safety procedures will be ignored by many of the "WANT TO BE" practitioners without proper training, thus putting our beloved hobby in danger of being regulated by higher authorities of which are neigher flexible nor care about the hobby.  
Therefore in order to safeguard and preserve this hobby, it is up to the hobbyist to self regulate and self manage so that we all can ensure that no external bodies or organization will come to regulate on our behalf.  This is why it is so important that a body like RC Congress, headed by people who are veterans in this industry and have been championing this hobby for decades be given the support it rightfully deserves in order to form and solidify this association for the benefit of all RC Flyers.  
Most importantly, it is we the RC Flyers, that need to support, promote and most importantly, ensure that new flyers comply by being members of this association in order to ensure standardization of knowledge, education on safety and proper application of standards and procedures that will safeguard this hobby for us today and the future to come.
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Romson Velez
RC Victory World
RC is Foundation - UAV Commercial is Level Up.  We can't level up if you don't have foundation.  We can't have commercial UAV business if we lose RC Foundation.

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