The latest meeting between the Department for Transport (DfT), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and representatives from the UK Model Flying Associations took place yesterday afternoon at the DfT offices in London.
The most urgent matter to address was the recent change to the Air Navigation Order (ANO) which introduced (in Article 94A) a 400ft height limit on the operation of all Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) which will come into effect on the 30th July 2018. Whilst the changes to the ANO are largely aimed at regulating ‘drones’, the 400ft restriction will also apply to model aircraft below 7Kg.
However, we are pleased to report that agreement was reached that the Model Flying Associations will collectively apply for an exemption from Article 94A to allow their members to continue operating model aircraft below 7Kg above 400ft as they do under the current ANO. The DfT and CAA were supportive of this course of action and did not foresee any reason why the exemption would not be in place in time for the 30th July.
Negotiations on the other changes introduced in the ANO, namely operator registration and online testing of pilots remain ongoing, but for now it is business as usual for members of the BMFA, LMA, SAA & FPVUK. Happy flying!