The big news is that the LMA has been issued with an undated Article 16 operating authorisation by the CAA. Hooray!
The LMA now has the delegated authority from the CAA for-
Test flights of over 25kg model aircraft
In place of a CAA authorisation for flight test, the LMA will be issuing Flight Test Permits, and test flights can only be carried out with a valid Flight Test Permit, and in accordance with the limitations listed on it. Once the test flights are completed, a full authorisation will need to be applied for with the CAA.
Flights over 400ft of model aircraft over 7.5kg
Due to a change in policy by the CAA, flights over 400ft of model aircraft over 7.5kg at defined flying sites will no longer be approved by the CAA. That means that the LMA and / or the BMFA must now issue a permit for flying model aircraft over 7.5kg over 400ft. BMFA can permit over 400ft flying with up to 25kg model aircraft and the LMA can permit over 400ft flying with up to 25kg model aircraft and over 25kg model aircraft. If you need a site permission, please reply to this email.
Flights of model aircraft at flying displays
Due to a change in policy by the CAA, flying model aircraft at a display* must be under an article 16 authorisation and with the permission of the authorisation holder, not the CAA. That means that the LMA and / or the BMFA must now issue a permit for model flying displays. The BMFA can permit display flying with up to 25kg model aircraft and the LMA can permit display flying with up to 25kg model aircraft and over 25kg model aircraft.
If you are an operator / remote pilot at a flying display, it is your responsibility to be satisfied that a permission is in place before you fly / allow your aircraft to fly and only fly within the terms of that permission.
The new article 16 authorisation can be downloaded here
Due to the nature of the Large Model Airshow with visitors, traders and volunteers travelling from across the country and indeed all over the world to attend the event; the Large Model Association and the RAF Museum have taken the difficult decision to cancel the Large Model Airshow scheduled for July 2021. We are looking forward to welcoming you back in 2022 – save the dates: 1 – 3 July 2022.
So the end of another year, and a funny one it’s been. We can only hope 2021 will be better.
The government / CAA operator registration and pilot competency testing (DRES) system that I’m sure you’ve all been waiting excitedly for was due to go live on Tuesday 1 October, but now won’t. This is in part due to the response received from the model flying community, so thanks to everyone who contacted the DfT, CAA, their MP and others, and thanks for your continued support.
When the DRES system will all come to life, and what we as model association members will need to do and by when is not yet finally confirmed. Rest assured that I’ll update you all with the details as soon as everything is defined and agreed.
So please don’t register or take the test yet should the system become live in the meantime.
Rob Buckley – LMA Secretary
Representatives of the UK Model Flying Associations met with the CAA yesterday afternoon (29th May 2019).
The meeting was constructive, but without any real breakthrough to report at this stage.
The CAA were only able to discuss potential options within the restrictive policy framework dictated by the DfT. One such option is the possibility of the Associations registering as Operators, which would save members paying the £16.50 registration fee, but all members flying any model over 250g would still be required to take a free CAA theory test every 3 years. There is however further exploratory work to do on this option before it could be confirmed as a viable way forward and it would still be far from satisfactory.
Model Flying is now within the CAA’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Unit rather than their General Aviation Unit and there was an undertaking to meet on a quarterly basis, rather than on the current annual basis. The Associations welcome this development, especially at the present time.
There remains a great deal of detail to resolve before the 2018 ANO changes come into effect at the end of November this year and this issue is compounded by the six months lost due to the DfT/CAA ‘stone walling’ us since November 2018. It is regrettable that it has taken the direct action of our members to force the resumption of meaningful dialogue.
We would like to thank all those members who have supported our campaign so far, the CAA has received approximately 6000 responses from model association members. If you have not yet responded to the consultation, please do so before it closes next week. Full details of the consultation and how to respond can be found here: https://consultations.caa.co.uk/finance/drone-registration/
A considerable number of members have expressed their dissatisfaction at the ‘standard’ response they have received from the CAA which in many cases does little or nothing to address their specific concerns or indicate that they have even been read. We would encourage any member dissatisfied with the response they have received to raise a formal complaint through the CAA’s complaints process (rather than as a personal communication to the CEO), details of which you can find here:https://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Make-a-report-or-complaint/How-to-make-a-complaint-about-the-CAA/.
Similarly, a significant number of members have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the ‘standard’ response they have received from the DfT and in this instance we would encourage members to re-submit their concerns with a complaint that they have not been adequately addressed. Details of how to submit a complaint to the DfT can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport/about/complaints-procedure#making-a-complaint-to-the-department-for-transport.
We will be meeting with the Minister next week, but for now our ‘Call to Action’ remains very much in place.