Does Article 16 only apply if you’re flying at a club’s site?

I’ve just found this in the latest BMFA magazine, it’s the text of Article 16. I’ve also found FPVUK’s article on this site about implementing this exemption. Am I reading this correctly that it doesn’t only apply if you’re flying at a model aircraft club’s site? In other words if you obtain, say, the BMFA’s certificate for Article 16 flying then the advantages with regard to reduced distances from uninvolved people for instance Article 16 text.pdf (2.1 MB) apply wherever you’re flying, other rules of course taken into account?


Will tell you where Article 16 will allow you to fly. :+1:t2:

Log in with your forum username and password :+1:t2:


Watch this


Yes, if you’re a member and you agree to those terms of flying, you can fly under those rules anywhere…
Have a watch:


I think he’ll defo get this message :rofl:


Thank you Ian! Brilliant video. Why the powers that be can’t explain things this clearly I don’t know! I think I’ve now defo got the message! :laughing:

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Didn’t realise the “bubble” interesting

As I have no intention in any payed work and my flying activities are primarily fun flying with a little photography/video for personal gratification, Article 16 covers all my requirements, and even allows me to fly my very large hexacopter from urban recreational areas.

One thing I’m not sure of though, does simply being a member of the BMFA or FPVUK enough to grant you Article 16 privileges, or do you have to also be a member of an active BMFA affiliated club also? To me logic would dictate the latter, as to be able to fly at most club sites you need to have at least passed the BMFA ‘A’ practical proficiency test. For those members of FPVUK that would include having been assessed by one of their examiners, which is solely voluntary.

If just being a member of either organisation then one could simply join FPVUK for £19.99 and get many of the A2COC benefits without having to take a course and pass another exam on top of the test we all do to fly models above 250g.

Having not flown anything other than my micro sized FPV quads around the garden in the last year I haven’t given it much thought. But now that I’ve had my first jab, and restrictions will be lifted next weekend, I’m now a little confused.

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You have to be a member of the BMFA and pass their (free) online test which is similar to the DMARES test. You don’t have to be a member of an affiliated club.

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@Nidge I’m a member of FPVUK and all I needed to do was read their documentation on Article 16 and then check a check box within my account page to declare that I have read and understand what the Article 16 is and what conditions it allows me to fly under. Once that check box has been checked and saved to your account you’re covered by Article 16 :+1:t2: at least that’s my understanding.


@DeanoG60 , @grahammoore

Thanks for the clarification, guys.

It also demonstrates what a lousy memory I have. I’ve just logged into my BFMA account only to find out I’ve already acknowledged the requirements for Article 16 Authorisation.


Ditto What @DeanoG60 said. :smiley:


You have to be a member of the BMFA and pass their (free) online test which is similar to the DMARES test. You don’t have to be a member of an affiliated club.

Sorry for the bump, purely quoting this as was doing a search on article 16 to see if amy question had already been answered (it had) but if anyone else ends up in same boat as me the above requirement changed in May, and a CAA Flyer ID is now adequate without taking the BMFAs own competency test. although every little helps right!

5.1 Remote Pilot Competence

The existing requirements for Remote Pilot Competence remain in place. It is a legal requirement to have evidence that you are competent to operate your aircraft for anyone who is operating in accordance with our Authorisation except for those who:

  • only operate aircraft (without a camera) with an MTOM of less than 250g,
  • only operate indoors or only operate a control line or round the pole aircraft; (but operators of control line and round the pole aircraft with an MTOM exceeding 1Kg must now register as Operators).

There are three acceptable methods for BMFA members to show evidence of Remote Pilot Competence

  • Have a valid BMFA Registration Competency Certificate (RCC)******, or
  • Passing the CAA online DMARES test and having a ‘Flyer ID’, or
  • Have a BMFA Achievement Certificate that was obtained before 31/12/2020 and also have declared to the BMFA that they have read and understood the conditions and restrictions that apply when operating within our Article 16 authorisation. (N.B. Certificates gained after 31/12/2020 cannot be used) See section 14 below

Please note a Flyer ID is only required if you are using the CAA online DMARES test as your evidence.

The BMFA strongly recommend all members take and pass the updated Registration Competency Certificate as it is most relevant to how our members operate and is an excellent way of ensuring understanding of our Authorisation.

It is a requirement for anyone taking a new BMFA Achievement to show proof of one of the above methods. Any candidate who shows proof of a valid RCC obtained after 31/12/2020 will be exempt from answering the mandatory questions during the test.

Updated 17/05/2021

Source: Article 16 – Model Aircraft & Drone Flying – Be Lawful – Be Safe – Be Responsible

Just wondering here what a recreational area is as far as Article 16 is concerned?

Is it official parks, playgrounds or is it any open space where you can freely walk - which might have say a footpath crossing the land?

In other words is ‘recreational area’ defined?

Can a footway alongside a road be defined as a recreational area?

Parks, recreation and sports grounds, the beach etc. Not a footway alongside a road though.


Any idea about a footpath across a field?

I would assume not.

A public footpath only gives rights to pass along the path, it doesn’t actually change the purpose of the land so unless the field itself is substantially used for recreation area it’s a no.

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If, like me, you’re with FPV UK, then the question is moot. Their Article 16 OA makes no reference to a “recreational area”. I can’t speak for other flying clubs.

It says:

A built-up area which is only used substantially for recreational purposes may be considered a ‘suitable area’. Operation within such an area must be supported by a risk assessment.

Which, I think, answers the question.

I’m a member of the British Drone Flyers/BMFA, their Art16 authorisation also says the same thing. However the point is not moot. A built up area which is substantially used for recreational purposes is by definition a recreational area.

Based on the question @DroneGeek asked I assumed we were talking about a built up area.

Surely it would be the same as what the CAA defines as a recreational area?

Recreational areas include:

  • tourist attractions
  • sports facilities
  • beaches and parks
  • theme parks
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