Welcome to the RCAPA

Remote Control Aerial Platform Association

We are a professional association of dedicated remote control aerial photographers. RCAPA® provides operational safety guidelines, best business practices, networking and new technology information.



RCAPA Rebuttal to the FAA’s Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft

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Fellow RCAPA members,

RCAPA was founded in 2004with a vision and a purpose. The technology of unmanned aircraft has reached a nexus and is becoming recognized by entrepreneurs, the general public, andthe national media.

The Remote Control Aerial Platform Association was ahead of its time when it was founded ten years ago. With a membership of over 2000, RCAPA became a unified voice of small business aerial operators. That strength secured a position on the first Advisory and Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to recommend best practices for small unmanned aircraft. RCAPA legacy members producedsome of the best standard operating procedures and the safe field use of small UAS. This standard has been used both in the U.S. and in Europe as a guideline to safe UA operations. The most important hurdle of obtaining insurance was brokered by RCAPA and is still available to the aerial photography professional.

The RCAPA has achieved many firsts:

• AP-G and AP-P Testing program

• Commercial Liability Insurance Program (Hill & Usher)

• Proposed Operational Guidelines

• Community based grassroots activism

• Participation on the FAA small UAS ARC (order 1110.150)

• Proposed Operational Exemption

• Participation on the following standards groups:

• Eurocae WG-73

• ASTM F-38

• RTCA sc-203

• International Coordination Council (ICC)

• International symposiums and meetings with Global CAA representatives

Now is the time for RCAPA to again call to the new professional and to its’ legacy members to be heard once more. There is no other organization that is the small business advocate in the aerial photography industry that has the tenure, experience, or credentials of the RCAPA executive staff and board of directors. While the AMA caters to the hobbyist and AUVSI is protecting the interests of the large defense contractors, there is a growing void in the emerging commercial UAS industry, which is poised for astonishing growth. With growing membership we can again use our numbers to restrict the onerous overregulation of our industry which is threatened to be monopolized by a very few large operators looking to commercialize aircraft they have developed for military operations.

It is time for RCAPA professionals,legacy members,and new members to ensure thatthe concerns of small UAS business ownersand end-user community are heard and that we have a seat at the negotiating table as new regulations are drafted for the commercial integration of small UAS in the National Airspace System. RCAPA believes in this industry, and the members who have worked hard to create a business with this technology. RCAPA can provide support for the issues which are most important to the small business operating unmanned aircraft such as insurance, legal, or regulatory. A survey of questions has been prepared which will help RCAPA lead the way forward for the industry.Please take a few moments and go to our SURVEY PAGE and answer a few short questions. This is YOUR voice, and you CAN be heard.

Colorado Startups Push to Get Unmanned Aircraft Industry Airborne

Colorado Startups Push to Get Unmanned Aircraft Industry AirborneThe sky might be the limit for the unmanned aircraft industry, but before it takes flight, the engineers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts trying to build an industry that they say could soon have a $13.6 billion economic impact will have to navigate a tricky route through the offices of regulators and lawmakers—and the court of public opinion. This is a fact of life for people like Allen Bishop, president and CEO of Reference Technologies. The three-year-old startup is designing and building unmanned aerial [more]

How drones will change your life

 How drones will change your life (CNN) – Apart from what they do for the military; drones have already proven themselves capable sheep herders, delivery boys,tour guides, filmmakers, archaeologists, and — possibly – spies. The global economic potential of these machines is astounding; a recent study estimated the worldwide market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at $89 billion in 2013. Proponents are eager to point out the many ways they’re going to make our lives better. “Really, this technology is an extra tool to help an industry be more effective,” says Gretchen West, the executive vice president for [more]

Arcturus UAV and WGS Systems Integrate Europa-S SIGINT System on T-20 UAS

Arcturus UAV and WGS Systems Integrate Europa-S SIGINT System on T-20 UAS ROHNERT PARK, Calif., Nov. 4, 2013 – The Europa-S Signal Intercept and Geolocation System, built by WGS Systems in Frederick, Maryland, has now been integrated and flown in an Arcturus UAV T-20 Tier II unmanned aerial vehicle.  Arcturus UAV is headquartered in Rohnert Park, California.  Endurance for the T-20 UAV is 12-14 hours and the vehicle can reach an altitude of 20,000′ MSL.  The Europa-S Communication Intelligence and Direction Finding (COMINT/DF) system is capable of detecting, intercepting, direction finding (DF) and geo-locating signals of [more]

Flying Without Ever Leaving The Ground

Flying Without Ever Leaving The Ground At the University of North Dakota, one of the country’s largest collegiate flight schools, they’re flying something different: Drones. By 2018, just five years from now, the FAA projects that 7500 drones, or unmanned aircraft, could be flying in U.S. airspace. And the University of North Dakota hopes to be supplying many of their pilots. The University of North Dakota’s aviation program at the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is huge and internationally prestigious. They train helicopter pilots, air traffic [more]