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Create a Drone Zone for Your Community

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Clubs Across the Country
Active AMA Members
Years the AMA has served the hobby

Park Director Promotes Model Flying at NRPA

As the Parks and Recreation Director for Pasco County, FL, I was able to talk to my counterparts with city, county, and state departments to encourage them to include model aircraft flying sites on their lands.

We in the Tampa Bay Area were privileged to host the National Recreation and Park Association annual conference with approximately 10,000 delegates in attendance. I designed and conducted an off-site seminar at the Sarasota R/C Squadron flying site, with approximately 45 Parks and Recreation professionals in attendance.

After seeing the fun of model aviation and explaining the life-long aspects of the activity, youth involvement and how the AMA supports the activity and provides safety procedures, the attendees were enthused enough to create new flying sites of their own, and even saved some existing flying sites from being turned into horse trails or something else.

Jim Slaughter
Pasco County, FL Parks and Recreation Director (Ret.)
AMA Member 635178


Is Your Community Looking at Creating Drone Ordinances?

We work closely with the FAA UAS Office of Integration in Washington DC and hundreds of local and state offices across the country. If your community is considering drone regulations, we can assist in helping understand what has worked in other communities and how to be compliant with FAA jurisdiction. Contact Us

"Model aviation is a perfect example of how recreation is socially beneficial. With no physical barriers to its enjoyment, aeromodeling is open to people of all ages."

-Derrick A. Crandall, President of the American Recreation Coalition

Drone Zone FAQs

Why create a Drone Zone?

Drone flying is a fast-growing part of the hobby that is being enjoyed all around the globe. It is essential to create safe places for people to learn to fly and safely operate these aircraft. With projected sales of more than 700,000 drones in 2015, new owners will be flying somewhere. Much the way skateboard parks solved the problem of skateboarders running over people on the city sidewalks, creating a “Drone Zone” for drone flying helps cities point to a safe, approved place for this activity.

What space is needed for the flying site?

A space the size of a soccer field (approximately 100 yards long x 50 yards wide) is all that is required. Any underutilized space can become a flying site.

What types of models are appropriate for the site?

Drones are small and do not fly very fast, therefore they don’t need much space in which to operate. Small fixed-winged electric-powered aircraft and helicopters can also operate in this space.

Is noise an issue?

Models that are appropriate for this type of site are electric powered; therefore noise will not be a problem. The clean, quiet models are nearly unnoticeable when flying.


What considerations should be given to the flying site layout?

The AMA has some general guidelines that can be used to aid in the site's design. Three areas need to be created. A flying zone must be established where the models can be safely flown without concern about flying over people, cars, buildings, or roads. This zone needs to be clearly defined to keep people from wandering into the area, for safety reasons. Next, you will need to create an area for the pilots to stand next to the flying zone. Finally, a spectator area will need to be established to give a good view of the action, but keep onlookers safe.

What costs are involved in creating the site?

A drone zone site can be created for practically no cost. If you have a level, open field with grass that is cut, you have a site! All you need is some signage and markers to outline the field and define the flying, pilot, and spectator areas. Simple orange parking or sports cones will work just fine.

Who can help operate the site and train new pilots?

Partnering with an AMA club can provide all of the expertise you will need. The club can provide instructors to teach newcomers how to fly and how to repair their models. Safe operational procedures must be established, and the club members can help ensure that they are followed.

What kinds of programs can be established as a result of creating a flying site?

AMA members can help you to put together many varied programs. Educational programs teaching STEM essentials are readily available through the AMA Education department. Charity events can be held to raise money for special causes in which you are interested. Demonstrations can be organized to bring attention to the Drone Zone and advertise to increase attendance at the model field. These events can attract fliers from other areas, bringing money into the community for a positive economic impact.

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Let's Talk

I'm Tony Stillman, the Flying Site Coordinator for the Academy of Model Aeronautics. We're excited that you are interested in model aviation. If you would like to learn more about creating fun, low cost flying site, call me at 765-287-1256 x230. You can also use the form below. I'll be glad to help!

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