ProDrone Academy and many of the other NQE’s recently attended a meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority looking at the future of unmanned aircraft in UK airspace, training requirements and drone registration. Many were predicting the death of the industry and conversely NQE’s, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. What we heard was a raft of very sensible pieces of legislation designed to remove restrictions in some parts of the industry and make commercial operations far simpler. So in this article, we will take a brief look at some of the key points that have raised the most questions, starting with registration.
Registration for all unmanned aircraft above 250g Is set to become law in November of this year. This will require all owners of UA’s to register as SUA operators (being people responsible for the SUA) and also take the competency test to become a remote pilot if they will be flying themselves. This will necessitate that a registration number is clearly displayed on the aircraft and that anyone operating an SUA can be required to produce their proof of competency at the point they are asked. The competency test is geared towards assessing whether the potential remote pilot has achieved a basic level of competency and is able to operate in UK airspace.
This requirement also falls upon model aircraft operators and the 5,000 PfCO holders in the UK. The cost involved in this has been widely debated, but the fact remains in order to be legal you need to register and pay the fee. If you don’t you may find yourself falling foul of the law, and potentially not being insured if you fail to comply