If your in the UK and getting ready for some big UAS purchases for Christmas just remember the CAA are waiting
With the increasing popularity of small, unmanned aircraft (20 kg or less), some of which can now be controlled by Smart Phones, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today issued advice on using the devices in built-up areas or when in proximity to people, property or vehicles. The CAA said it was important that owners of the aircraft understood the risks they pose, despite their small size, to other airspace users and also to individuals on the ground.
The CAA pointed out that these devices are ‘aircraft’ and are therefore covered by regulations within the Air Navigation Order, which anyone flying them should be aware of. There have been a number of accidents in recent years, some fatal, involving model aircraft, and to avoid similar incidents and risk to third parties, operators of these new generation of unmanned aircraft should take great care when using them. Where such small, unmanned aircraft are fitted with surveillance cameras, they need permission from the CAA to operate within 50 metres of a person, vehicle, vessel or structure (not in control of the person in charge) and when operating over or within 150 metres of any area that is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes or open-air assemblies of more than 1,000 people.
Emergency services, and many commercial operators, are already using small, unmanned aircraft mounted with cameras, but are doing so with the full knowledge and authorisation of the CAA. All such flying is done within set distances from the pilot, who must also be able to clearly see the aircraft at all times to ensure safe operation and the avoidance of collisions.
Matt Lee, Head of Regulation Enforcement at the CAA, said: “Anyone thinking of buying a small, unmanned aircraft should be aware that whilst there is a lot of pleasure in flying one, they are not toys and they must be operated legally. In the wrong hands or used irresponsibly in built-up areas, or, too close to other people or property, they represent a very real safety risk. As well as the danger of being physically hit, there is also the chance of other accidents being caused through distraction, for example, if a car driver was to be surprised by something flying towards him. In the past we have seen people seriously injured or even killed by model aircraft and, now that small, unmanned aircraft are becoming more readily available and simpler to fly, we need to avoid any similar incidents.”
The CAA said it had contacted several manufacturers and distributors to explain the rules for using small, unmanned surveillance aircraft in the UK, as set out in the Air Navigation Order, and asked that this information be passed on to potential and existing customers.
So private or commercial no dumb videos on YouTube please. The people at Parrot are almost certainly the people that prompted this response with their very ill conceived advertising campaign
I have already informed my customers in fact we have always told people what the rules were. For those of you that might be customers.....
In summary, as soon as a camera is put on a model it becomes a UAS, its the law here don't whine, it was in the pipeline for at least 5 years before it happened.
Aircraft weight up to 20KG carry on, just don't do anything silly
Aircraft 0-7 kg BMFA A cert and form SRG 1320 submission
7-20kg BMFA B cert and form SRG 1320
I think its 107 pounds for the permission.
This pilot certification route will change as the CPL(U) is defined and comes into existence. If you do not have prior aviation knowledge the CAA may ask you to train using Euro USC.
The guys at the CAA are actually very cool and only want to see things develop correctly and the industry to lead the world here. Its interesting to see Bill P having problems flying at a small AMA event and yet we could fly at Farnborough airshow this year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnJ0Gu0gVf4 ;
The CAA have made their position clear, its the head of prosecutions talking in that press release. Thankfully in all my flying I have been lucky and they have not come after me, honest. But I know people that have been pulled up for the odd moment of youthful exuberance and its not funny.