CAA Permission For Model Fying Over 400ft

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Rob Buckley
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CAA Permission For Model Fying Over 400ft

Postby Rob Buckley » July 24th, 2018, 9:42 pm

The recent 2018 amendments to the Air Navigation Order will come into effect on the 30th July, making it illegal to operate any unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) above 400ft.

The UK model flying associations (BMFA, SAA, LMA & FPVUK) have been working in close collaboration in ongoing negotiations with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and we are pleased to report that earlier today the CAA issued us with a joint ‘Permission’ to allow our members to continue operating ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 7Kg at heights in excess of 400ft. The full text of this Permission can be viewed HERE.

The CAA has also issued an ‘Exemption’ to allow our members to operate ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 3.5Kg at heights up to 1000ft using First Person View. The full text of this Exemption can be viewed HERE.

Note that any model aircraft flying within 1km of the boundary of a licensed airfield at any height will have to be with the permission of the airfield air traffic control or airfield operator.

The Permission & Exemption will come into effect on the 30th July, but please note that they apply only to ‘conventional’ model aircraft (including helicopters) and do not exempt multirotor drones or unmanned aircraft with autonomous flight capability from the 400ft height limit.

It was only possible to achieve this result due to the recognition given by the DfT and CAA to the excellent safety record established by the model flying associations and our members over many years and we are grateful for their help and support in achieving such a positive outcome.

Today’s announcement is a great result for the UK model flying community and is the culmination of very significant collaborative efforts by the UK Model Flying Associations working together on behalf of our members.
LMA Secretary - I've got a reasonable idea where you live!

Frank Skilbeck
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Re: CAA Permission For Model Fying Over 400ft

Postby Frank Skilbeck » July 24th, 2018, 10:05 pm

Well done to all involved.

chris-berry
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Re: CAA Permission For Model Fying Over 400ft

Postby chris-berry » July 24th, 2018, 10:37 pm

Good job, well done!

David Baker
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Re: CAA Permission For Model Fying Over 400ft

Postby David Baker » July 25th, 2018, 5:59 pm

Well done Guys... common sense prevailed (you did a great job of selling the common sense!)

Nigel Cox
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Re: CAA Permission For Model Fying Over 400ft

Postby Nigel Cox » July 25th, 2018, 6:36 pm

What annoys me with this is the mixture of 400' and 1km I know were're in the middle of Brexit, but could they not stick to one unit of measurement ??

Bob Thompson1894
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Re: CAA Permission For Model Fying Over 400ft

Postby Bob Thompson1894 » July 26th, 2018, 6:52 am

Pint of beer and a litre of coke? Its Britain....

Ian Reid-Jones
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Re: CAA Permission For Model Fying Over 400ft

Postby Ian Reid-Jones » July 26th, 2018, 9:49 am

A big thank-you and well done to all involved. It is heartening to see that in this ever more regulated world sense has prevailed. I fully appreciate the undoubted hard work that is necessary to bring about such changes in legislation.

Bob Thompson1894
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Re: CAA Permission For Model Fying Over 400ft

Postby Bob Thompson1894 » July 26th, 2018, 10:03 am

Its gone on a fair while- this is an extract from an email reply I got in 2016.
Dear Mr Thompson
Thank you for expressing interest in the UAS Prototype Rule.
We had and we are still having intensive discussions on the inclusion of model aircraft in our regulatory proposal, and how to differentiate between a model aircraft and a drone operator flying for leisure.
We are trying to give as much flexibility as we can.
With regard to your query, if you fly under a model club nothing will change for you. I would like to refer you for example to Article 15 of the UAS draft proposal (Prototype Rule, for your convenience I report it below). It gives the possibility to the national competent authority to issue an authorisation to model clubs identifying deviations from the European rule, no further risk assessment is required. In this way we are allowing the model clubs to operate as they do today giving maximum freedom. So if you fly within the remit of a club recognized by your national authority, you do not need to comply with the European rule since we know that a model club already imposes rules providing a sufficient level of safety. Therefore I expect that not much will change for people flying under model clubs rules and no modification could be required to their aircraft.
Still we need to regulate the flight of UAS outside of model clubs and in order to reduce the risk, we defined limitations in energy (weight and speed or level of injury).

Regarding model aircraft we are meeting with model associations, including BMFA, FAI and other national clubs and with their help we will improve the draft text further, if needed.

As you may know we keep aviation safety as high priority and we hope this draft regulation allows the UAS market to develop safely in Europe, without negatively impacting other categories such as the model hobbyist. The purpose of publishing the “prototype” version of the regulatory proposal, while we are still working on it, was exactly to receive comments from all interested stakeholders.
So thank you for sharing your thoughts and I hope my answer helped to show that we do not intend to impede on model flights.


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