An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

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Rob Buckley
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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Rob Buckley » August 26th, 2019, 9:34 am

The legal responsibility for a flight is entirely with the Operator and the Remote Pilot, no one else. For model aircraft under 20kg there is no legal requirement for insurance.

For the club committee, it will depend on what the club rules are for operator registration & remote pilot competency demonstration. If a club decides to make it a requirement that flying members register as operators and have remote pilot competence they are free to do that, and a ticked box on membership application / renewal form would do the confirmation.

There will however be no way to reliably check the details of an operator / remote pilot.

The DRES system will have the facility to enter an operators number (and probably a remote pilot number) and it will tell you yes / no that the number is a paid up operator or a pilot who’s passed the test. It will not tell you who the operator / pilot with those numbers is however.

The new transport minister may well be busy with HS2 and train timetables or something, and hasn’t quite found time in his schedule for model flying.

The annual renewal cycle appears to be because the cost of the DRES system has to be paid annually, so the fee for next year will be set based mainly on how many people registered last year.
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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby chris-berry » August 26th, 2019, 12:05 pm

I know a lot of people seem to be upset about having to pay £16.50 and i agree its a futile and unfair exercise all round, but in the grand scheme of things its not a huge cost. A pint of beer is about £4, a packet of fags £10 and if you have a few wheels up landings it could cost £20 plus for a prop.

The figure of 170'000 registrations is way off and they are in another world if they think they'll get that many, but time will tell. I give it 3 years before either an exemption is issued for modellers or the whole thing is very quietly dropped with little fanfare on a big news day.

What will be interesting to know is if the DRES system uses the terms model aircraft and drone or just UAS or, as in the various consultations, a mix of everything with no glossary.

The drones bill hasn't been written yet, so what are they linking the requirement for registration to? What regulation is the DRES linked to? Presumably the ANO?? In which case what is the drones bill all about?

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby stuart knowles 1611 » August 26th, 2019, 1:54 pm

I agree that the suggested fee isn't massive in the scheme of things. What isn't acceptable is to impose the legislation onto a group of existing users who are knowledgeable and law abiding when all can see the utter and complete pointlessness of what is being imposed.

I could even go along with the mantra that 'the Users must pay' except no right thinking person would agree that it then gives the D of T the go ahead to give some company a blank cheque to bring forward the most expensive leviathan of a solution imaginable. (and who also in the same breath confirm that the level of fee is entirely dependent on the number of participants being many times the likely actual number of users based on hard evidence and not some figure plucked out of the air) So based on their own statements we know that the present fee is grossly underestimated. Do you still think that rolling with the proposal is such a good idea?

It is particularly disappointing that the Official side has chosen to reject the advances and advice of the Model Flying Associations and plough ahead with their ridiculous plans when much better solutions were on the table. In doing so they have chosen to alienate the very body of people who were the most likely to have done the most to minimise poor, reckless and unlawful drone use by people outside of the hobby of model flying. Keeping the Model Flying Community on board would have been the most effective solution to kerbing the antics of the Careless and the Clueless, leaving the authorities to deal with the Criminal.

I can accept that we live in a changing world, I can accept the desire to see a Register of airspace users and an identifying mark of anything that flies but I don't like being disrespected. I don't like being made a mug of and I don't feel like being the one that picks up the tab for some other persons idiocy, and my that I mean both the phantom that flew a ghost into Gatwick airspace and the Mandarins of Whitehall who have proposed this unmitigated pile of poo that they now want us all to swallow.

I regret to say that this is a long way from over

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Rob Buckley » August 26th, 2019, 2:17 pm

The DRES system uses the terms 'model aircraft and 'drone'.

The requirements to register as operators and demonstrate remote pilot competence are in the ANO, and have been since mid 2018. The DRES system is providing the mechanism to allow people to comply with the ANO requirements that the CAA is required to do as of 1 October.

The (drones) Unmanned Aircraft Bill has been written by the DfT, and is awaiting parliamentary time. It gives more police powers for as an example requiring a drone to be landed, producing your DRES 'papers' to a Bow Street Runner, fixed penalty fines for not complying and so on.
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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Bob Thompson1894 » August 26th, 2019, 5:40 pm

And they are going to do this on our private land flying site without a warrant? I should like to see them get through our anti gyppo- sorry, anti trespasser steel gates with their door breaking gear. As i have said, the only way I will comply is if my insurance deems it to be essential. I await the negotiations of the LMA and BMFA with bated breath. And that will be no less than a ransom demand. Just phone the police and tell them that thieves have broken in to your house and stolen all your furniture. You will of course, get a crime number. Plod is far too busy chasing car thieves on TV.

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Bob Thompson1894 » August 26th, 2019, 5:43 pm

stuart knowles 1611 wrote:
I can accept that we live in a changing world, I can accept the desire to see a Register of airspace users and an identifying mark of anything that flies but I don't like being disrespected. I don't like being made a mug of and I don't feel like being the one that picks up the tab for some other persons idiocy, and my that I mean both the phantom that flew a ghost into Gatwick airspace and the Mandarins of Whitehall who have proposed this unmitigated pile of poo that they now want us all to swallow.

I regret to say that this is a long way from over

What drone? Isnt it odd that the next thing was a computer outage? I hope the poor old model flier who was at work with loads of witnesses is suing the police for wrongful arrest.

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Bob Thompson1894 » August 26th, 2019, 5:45 pm

"The annual renewal cycle appears to be because the cost of the DRES system has to be paid annually, so the fee for next year will be set based mainly on how many people registered last year." but of course. Be ready for a hundred pound charge next time.

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Rob Buckley » August 26th, 2019, 6:02 pm

Maybe, faced with a spectacularly low uptake, the powers that be will take the opportunity of some easy and public enforcement & finings on a nice day to aid the publicity campaign.

Especially when folk could, for example, have posted their intentions on the internet under their real name, and when googling that name followed by the words 'model aircraft' the very first result gives the flying location, access details and an invitation to 'Please feel free to park up and walk down to the pits area'.

Or maybe they won't.
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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Steve McDonald » August 26th, 2019, 6:21 pm

Thanks for the update Rob, common sense ignored, expert knowledge ignored and will it help catch the scrotes that are causing the havoc? Not a chance, they will never register. The will crawl out from under a rock, cause mayhem then crawl back, leaving the police to hassle known modellers!

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby chris-berry » August 26th, 2019, 8:17 pm

As we all know, the figure of 170'000 is way off and is 'based' on some sort of random calculation of uptake and population in the USA, a country obviously very similar to ours :?

I can predict the conversations in the DFT and CAA offices in about 2 years time. It'll go along the lines of:

"You know we said 170'000 people, well, you know those old men who fly little toy planes said it would be about 50'000 if we were lucky, well they were right weren't they!" And, you know they said they could help us to sort this all out, they were right weren't they!"

Words will be eaten eventually and we can then say we told you so. I'm now of the view, nod, smile, say yes and then sit back, enjoy our flying and wait for the veils to be quietly draped.

Heathrow runways, HS2, NHS computer system etc etc.

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Bob Thompson1894 » August 27th, 2019, 6:33 am

Rob Buckley wrote:Maybe, faced with a spectacularly low uptake, the powers that be will take the opportunity of some easy and public enforcement & finings on a nice day to aid the publicity campaign.

Especially when folk could, for example, have posted their intentions on the internet under their real name, and when googling that name followed by the words 'model aircraft' the very first result gives the flying location, access details and an invitation to 'Please feel free to park up and walk down to the pits area'.

Or maybe they won't.

We do have laws in Britain, Rob. To enter private property to investigate a possible crime they need a warrant. And what crime? Catching naughty model fliers is weather dependant, time dependant, unless they want to send a team of geared up armed officers to find old Joe rummaging around in the depths of his Junior 60 and not even flying. Catching me committing aviation these days is not easy! The drone regulations have been in force for some time, and I only know of two successful court cases, both of whom were so illegal (flying over football matches, flying over a nuclear facility) that a prison sentence should have been imposed. In order to convict a driver of drink driving, car theft etc, they have to prove who was driving beyond doubt. Just because you have a transmitter in your hand, how do they prove you were actually flying? It could be someone hiding out of sight. The CPS are going to just say no.

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby chris-berry » August 27th, 2019, 7:38 am

Bob Thompson1894 wrote:
Rob Buckley wrote:Maybe, faced with a spectacularly low uptake, the powers that be will take the opportunity of some easy and public enforcement & finings on a nice day to aid the publicity campaign.

Especially when folk could, for example, have posted their intentions on the internet under their real name, and when googling that name followed by the words 'model aircraft' the very first result gives the flying location, access details and an invitation to 'Please feel free to park up and walk down to the pits area'.

Or maybe they won't.

We do have laws in Britain, Rob. To enter private property to investigate a possible crime they need a warrant. And what crime? Catching naughty model fliers is weather dependant, time dependant, unless they want to send a team of geared up armed officers to find old Joe rummaging around in the depths of his Junior 60 and not even flying. Catching me committing aviation these days is not easy! The drone regulations have been in force for some time, and I only know of two successful court cases, both of whom were so illegal (flying over football matches, flying over a nuclear facility) that a prison sentence should have been imposed. In order to convict a driver of drink driving, car theft etc, they have to prove who was driving beyond doubt. Just because you have a transmitter in your hand, how do they prove you were actually flying? It could be someone hiding out of sight. The CPS are going to just say no.



The police aren't going to be interested in model flying clubs and as with 99% of the rest of the world, show a police officer an acrowot and they will say that's a model aeroplane and not a drone, sorry to have troubled you. The local police know the location of our flying field, as i'm sure lots of police do about many clubs and they aren't bothered, they certainly weren't when we had our mower stolen a few years ago. Its media hype and being seen to be doing something that drives most of the world.
It seems to me that drones are starting to be disliked by the general public. Most people who wanted a stocking filler for Christmas have probably long since crashed the toy they thought was easy to fly in their back garden and film the cat catching a bird and I think the fad of toy drones will start to decline in the next few years, leaving only the few who are prepared to part with significant amounts of money, only to sell it a few years later, as they are bored of it and want to take up needlework.

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Bob Thompson1894 » August 27th, 2019, 8:52 am

I hope so. Its all a sledgehammer to crack a non-existant nut in my opinion. I have never seen a drone flying in the past year, despite all the Xmas presents. Nobody has asked if we allow drones on our strip, either. This makes interesting reading- https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports?aircraf ... ft-systems

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Peter Siggins » August 27th, 2019, 9:08 am

The real cruncher is the attitude of the insurance companies - if they say you are not insured if you don’t register I can see a lot of our ‘older’ generation,I include myself thinking it’s all too much hassle ,and take up tiddly winks or some other simple legislation free hobby.Even golf comes to mind!
The expense put on us to fund this farce Could after 12 months be considerable.

Pete

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Bob Thompson1894 » August 27th, 2019, 9:27 am

Golf? Around 12,000 golfing accidents happen each year in the UK. Get the feeling we are being picked on?

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby paul hughes » August 27th, 2019, 9:57 am

As some-one who isn't keen on registering and opening the door to extortion, what are the alternatives to rc flying. Do you need to register if you only fly indoors? what about control line models of free flight? I haven't seen these disciplines mentioned, and as they don't offer any possible threat to airport security why would they need to be registered.

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Alan Cantwell 1131 » August 27th, 2019, 10:44 am

Nobody here has mentioned the word that has suddenly made the 0-400 feet valuable airspace, were it would be very beneficial to them if lots of model flyers decided to sell up, so the airspace would be clearer, the word, is Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Prime-Air ... 8037720011

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Rob Buckley » August 27th, 2019, 11:25 am

There are indeed lots of laws, and some of them allow entry to private property without a warrant for specific reasons (about 900 such laws according to the .gov website).

While the likely content of the Drones Bill is outlined in the DfT consultation released back in January, quite what the final bill will include remains to be seen.

The bill may well include additional powers of search & entry given to the police to enforce the ANO.

One of the reasons for not giving any concessions to us appears to be making life easier for the police when dealing with all of this. If something flies, weighs between 250g & 20kg and there's nobody in it, the rules, enforcement and penalties are exactly the same.

Whether there are enough police and the interest in actually enforcing any of this against a bunch of old blokes in a field will I'm sure depend on their priorities coming from the top.

Indoor flying is not covered by any of this legislation. Free flight is if above 250g. The CAA are looking at whether an exemption to the whole thing can be issued for control line.

Amazon and the <400ft airspace is not really an issue. It's the stated aim of the CAA that the airspace shall be available to all, and part of the electronic conspicuity work is the start of unmanned traffic management systems that will allow interoperable airspace use. That's why I got myself on the CAA electronic conspicuity working group to make sure that model aircraft are taken into account in the setting of rules & policy, and the traffic management systems work for us and the 'commercial' stuff can just fly round us when we are flying.
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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Alan Cantwell 1131 » August 27th, 2019, 11:52 am

But how does the commercial stuff fly round us? Makes more sense to have a line of site flight path, making the 0-400 feet airspace pretty valuable,

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Re: An Update on the UK Regulations for Model Flyers

Postby Rob Buckley » August 27th, 2019, 12:26 pm

The location of model flying will be in the interoperable traffic management system(s) when the models are flying, so that other users of the same airspace will be aware and can route themselves appropriately.
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