|09-04-2004, 05:08 PM||#1|
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AMA Security Advisory
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It was just a matter of time.
During the past few months there has been an increase in reports of the possibility of more numerous terrorist attacks and the threat of more attacks on U.S. soil. In turn this has prompted law-enforcement and security agencies to become more aware and observant of activities they perceive as having the potential for terrorist use. Model aviation, as we are fully aware, is included in such a list. Therefore we are issuing this advisory.
First and most importantly, cooperate. Once the representative(s) have established their identity—and any legitimate officer or investigator will do this—cooperate by answering their questions honestly, politely, and with care. Please take these inquiries seriously and don’t forget the impact your answers and attitude could have on your flying privileges not only locally but nationally.
These are the times to give factual information and not the time to brag on your “modeling exploits.” Even though you are answering questions to determine the security risk model airplanes may pose, you may also be answering questions asked by people who have never experienced our sport. You may be teaching them about the activity they are investigating and if that is the case you want them to be well informed so they can fully appreciate what our activity is about.
Second, always remember to direct them to the Academy of Model Aeronautics, your national organization, for any additional information they may need. We have a good rapport with the agencies responsible and will be more than willing to assist at any level necessary. Establishing a good working relationship with such agencies is important not only to our national security but to our efforts to maintain our privilege to continue participating in the sport we all cherish.
We have included a copy of the Media Advisory which AMA issued in April, 2003, with this Security Advisory for your review. Should you be approached by members of the media please keep the points made in the document below in mind.
Media Advisory: We are sending this advisory as a result of recent events involving the news media making contact with local AMA Chartered Clubs or individuals.
In today’s tense atmosphere of terrorist threats, possible military actions, etc., there appears to be exuberance on the part of news agencies and individual reporters to gather information concerning the use of model aircraft as possible security risks. Many times, in an effort to take advantage of the opportunity to garner some public exposure for their local flying activities, the members are surprised when the news release does not resemble what they had assumed would be published. This results in negative press for the sport and local participants, and may spread misinformation.
As a service to all AMA Chartered Clubs, we are suggesting that if you or your club are contacted by TV, radio, newspaper, or Internet reporters for interviews—other than coverage of such activities as fly-ins, mall shows, airport-awareness days, etc.—you direct them to the AMA Headquarters for information. If in doubt, please error on the side of caution.
Our main purpose for the Advisory was to bring the matter to the attention of our members and remind them of how important it is to be cautious when giving interviews during these times. We are all aware of how communications can be misunderstood or misinterpreted and how reporters can sometimes inject their own perceptions. All we can ask is that anyone speaking on behalf of our modeling activities be aware of what the consequences of their words might be.
At any time, please contact Jay Mealy at AMA Headquarters with questions, comments, or concerns.
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