Cutting through the confusion…

April 12, 2015 10:16 am Published by

Updated CAP 722 – Unmanned Aircraft Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance

There is a great deal of confusion flying around at the moment regarding the changes in regulation.  We thought we would summarise a few key points below.

Key points are as follows:

The creation of a restricted category National Qualified Entity (NQE).  The purpose of this is to allow Permit for Aerial Work holders to conduct flight assessments as well as their usual commercial activities.  This comes inline with the changes to the competency process which allows holders of PPL and CPL a fast route to a PfAW.  Please refer to CAP 722 for full details.  Application to the CAA is required.

The formalisation of two weight based categories.  0-7kgs MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight) and 7-20kgs MTOW.  Within each weight category the operator will now be free to vary or add machines without individual flight tests.  This is a huge cut in red tape and very welcome.

Now when it comes to PfAW renewal time, you can apply direct to the CAA thus cutting out the NQE you qualified with.  This is a personal choice and some NQE’s have made it clear that they wish you to retain membership with them in order to keep your qualification current.  This is NOT a legal requirement however and NOT required to maintain valid insurance cover that only requires a valid PfAW.

Lastly, if you wish to operate outside of the basic permissions of your PfAW you can now apply for an annual permission to do this designated the UAS-OSC or Operating Safety Case.  This is a fantastic and enabling document that will allow an operator to undertake almost any operation as long as they can prove (and have it accepted) to the CAA that their proposed operations are safe.

One current UAS-OSC for example allows an operator to fly within 10m of people and property not under their control and up to 600′ AGL with a 7-20kg airframe.  This illustrates what can be achieved but one should not underestimate the process.  The information that needs to be provided is directly related to how complex your operation will be.

We would recommend that any operator wanting guidance and assistance join the trade associations ARPAS-UK.

The Information Notice can be found HERE.

CAP 722 can be found HERE.


Categorised in:

This post was written by roavr