A2CofC or GVC for search and Rescue use

Hi everyone I’m a volunteer with a local Search and Rescue team. We are currently mid way through our GVC training, my question is do we need the GVC or could we search with a Mavic Pro under the A2CofC certificate.

With the A2 CofC you must stay 50m horizontally away from anyone you haven’t briefed on drone safety. Difficult to see how you can use that when you don’t know where your target is!

With the GVC you can fly above uninvolved people so long as you are 50m off the ground.


I’m not sure that that is actually correct. This was and will be true for people holding PfCO with “grandfather” rights. However, my understanding is that the 50m “dome” under PfCO rules becomes a 50m cylinder under GVC, so no overflight permitted. I stand to be corrected though.

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Or 30M if flying under article 16?

@nigelw See page 182 of CAP722 for the predefined risk assessment UKPDRA01:


The GVC is just a training certificate, but once you have it you can apply to the CAA to include the PDRA in your operational authorisation.

You’ll see it includes a 50m separation distance but doesn’t use the word “horizontal”. I believe the CAA put it together so that people under the new GVC-based OA could easily replicate the old “standard permissions” from the PfCO.


Yes, but you couldn’t conduct search and rescue under Article 16, which is limited to recreation, sport, education and demonstration flights.

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I’m with you here, @kvetner.

For UKPDRA01, UAS <25kg, CAP722 says:

No flight within 50 metres of any uninvolved person, except that during take-off and landing this distance may be reduced to 30 metres.

But for UKPDRA02, UAS >25kg, it’s:

No flight within 50 metres horizontally from any uninvolved persons

I reckon it could safely be argued that the absence of the word ‘horizontally’ for sub25kg says it’s a bubble.

Anybody here actually got the OA for their GVC (I have the cert, but am holding off until my PfCO comes up for renewal at the end of the year before actually applying for the OA). I presume the OA doesn’t say anything different to the wording in CAP722?

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I’m in the middle of training for the GVC and the uKPDR01 50 metre rule IS a bubble NOT horizontal from uninvolved persons