What’s the cost of a CAA licence in the UK?

Including the training? Or just the cert application Simon?

I presume the training is an integral part of getting the certificate?

The ‘certificate’ in the U.K. is the Permission for Commercial Operations and is issued by the CAA.

Course cost (includes theory instruction, theory exam, flight test and ops manual preparation assistance) - around £1400.

Public liability insurance (required to do flight test and for initial CAA application) - £400 per year upwards depending on type of SUAV being used and level of cover.

Initial application cost to CAA for your PfCO - £173 plus annual renewal fee of £130.

So expect to initially outlay in the region of £2000 and then £530+ per year to renew your PfCO.

1 Like

Bargain !!

1 Like

Thanks Barry,
As a retired BBC Cameraman, I now wish I’d taken up the offer of “Drone school” when I was employed!
To be honest, I can’t see myself using the drone commercially but wondered just in case I was asked to do something that needed a licence. Too much to pay just on the off chance so it will stay as a “toy”
Certainly not worth risking paid work without the proper paperwork!

No problem Simon - happy to help.

I got all the way up to the flight test, having spent an age on my Ops Manual (which, according to my instructor was very good and would have sailed through the CAA verification :innocent:) but when I weighed up the ongoing and renewal costs, the anticipated income from commercial ops (the market is flooded with SUAV qualifies pilots) it just didn’t make economic sense - 10 years ago when things were starting maybe.

1 Like

It is very expensive ‘on the off chance’ of getting work. Having been certified for over a year and given it a good go, part time, to get paying work I can honestly say it is pretty damn difficult!

Apart from a small number of specialist operators (who have invested heavily in kit, marketing and skills) I genuinely think the only people making money out of this are the NQEs running the training courses and perhaps the insurance companies…


Absolutely correct!