FPVUK - UAS Implementing Regulation Article 16 Operational Authorisation

Hi All

After several years of back and forth we have today been issued with an Operational Authorisation under Article 16 of the UAS Implementing Regulation.

In a nutshell it gives association members the ability to carry on flying as they were, in spite of the new rules coming in at the end of the year. And gives a handful of new privileges.

For example association members will be able to continue flying FPV with a competent observer after 31st December 2020, and they will now also be able to fly without an individual competent observer when flying in a ‘sterile area’ (such as at a drone race event).

There is plenty of other stuff as well; eg reduced distances from uninvolved people, overflight of uninvolved people, flying in a park (which is a ‘built up area’ in the new regulations), ridge soaring (400ft above the operator), flying above 400ft (non-multis), control line, freeflight, etc.

More details (including a link to the authorisation itself and our new handbook to accompany it) are here:

Thanks

Simon

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Thank you, Simon, for this great update and the work you have done behind the curtain.

Nidge.

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Many thanks for the update Simon @FPVUK - excellent job :+1: :+1: :+1:

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Excellent work as always, it’s clear how passionate you have remained over the years… :vulcan_salute:

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Daft question alert. As a non FPV flier, would joining benefit me other than the public liability insurance?

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Certainly. We stand up for drone users in meetings with the CAA/ DfT/ NATS, etc to protect your rights. Yesterday I was in a three hour call about electronic conspicuity for instance. My main point was that our members generally have many UAS and they shouldn’t have to add an electronic conspicuity device (AND a remote ID device) to every one. I am pushing for an exemption from that rule for people flying VLOS and below 400ft. (Or at the very least a single ADS-B beacon at the flying site to cover everyone flying - not each individual aircraft.)

We’re also presently working with the CAA to have our member’s registration handled automatically (both new members and renewals) so that (from January) our members won’t have to go off and register separately with the CAA. It’ll all be handled automatically from your FPV UK account. (You can turn that on and off as and when you want to).

It remains the case that those of our members who have done our C of C: Drone law (which is 10 questions and takes 2 minutes) are exempt from taking the CAA’s 40 question test. And retaking it every 12 months.

We print FPV UK membership cards which show your Operator ID, membership number and achievements - including that you’re exempt from the CAA’s test. The guidance for Police includes pictures of our membership card so they’ll know what they’re looking at if you produce your card.

The new operational authorisation isn’t just about FPV. It allows members to fly in parks (where non-members cannot), members are allowed to fly within 30m of people (that includes 30m above - whereas in the open category it’s 30m or 150m horizontal for A2 and A3 categories. IE no overflight). Ridge soaring is possible with 400ft allowed above the operator (rather than above the ground), non-multis can be flown to 1000ft and freefight and control line are covered too.

FPV UK members also get discounts on drone stuff from a few retailers, training from several training companies, drone repairs from Drone Doctor, outdoor equipment from Cotswold/ Snow + Rock/ Runners Need, clothing from Urban Nomad, etc, etc. And we’ve got an excellent new partnership coming up early next year too.

We also have a national network of mentors and examiners and a training syllabus should you like to take up some practical training to improve your skills/ for your own enjoyment and sense of achievement. You could even become a mentor/ examiner yourself if you’d like to. There’s no charge from us for the training, etc.

And there’s the public liability insurance that you mentioned as well.

Happy to answer any questions you may have.

All the best

Simon

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I have to be honest absolutely no experience like you guys but “Play safe and be seen to be playing safely in the playground” appears to be the watchword.

As the pilot of a drone, it is your responsibility to keep others safe. Seems logical, after all, if you are driving and hit a pedestrian with a motor vehicle it ultimately your responsibility.

Is it really that simple or have I missed something?

This is truly good news. Just a quick question on height restrictions. As a BMFA member we still retain permission to exceed 400ft above the operator with a fixed wing aircraft, providing there are no other restrictions in place and the mtom doesn’t exceed 7.5kgs. Do you retain the same permission for fixed wing. I ask because I am still considering joining your organisation when my BMFA membership lapses. Thanks.

@FPVUK your site seems to be down again.

@dronegeek Thanks for the heads up.

It’s back now. The hosting guys said:

We have checked and found there was the OS firewall and the Plesk control panel firewall running on the server. These were conflicting and blocking access to the required port 80 on the server.

We have kept the Plesk control Panel firewall running and disabled the OS firewall to avoid such conflicts between the two firewalls.

That’s a different problem to last time. Hopefully this is the last of the problems!

The membership system is on a different server/ company entirely so can always be accessed at https://members.fpvuk.org even if the Wordpress information site is down for some reason (which hopefully it won’t be ever again…).

Hi @Nismo

Yes. We have all of the same permissions/ privileges as BMFA. (If you open the Operational Authorisation I linked to above you’ll see that BMFA and FPV UK are both named therein).

Thanks

Simon

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Great stuff Simon, just what I needed to know. Steve.

Would a purpose built flying site without access for the general public be considered a sterile area? I ask as I’ve received the BMFA’s interpretation and they have worded it to appear specific to drone racing.

Nidge.

There’s no point getting bogged down in one abbreviation/ interpretation or the other. Just read the authorisation itself: Section 4.3:

4.3
First Person View model
aircraft
(1) A model aircraft may be flown by a remote pilot using first person view (FPV)
equipment subject to the limitations of this authorisation, and following
conditions (a) or (b), either:
a) The aircraft is flown in accordance with all of the following conditions:
i. Within a sterile area- meaning a cordoned off, closed area that
uninvolved persons are excluded from; and
ii. The aircraft is not flown at a height in excess of 160 feet (50
metres) from the surface; and
iii. In accordance with procedures specifically set out for the
purpose of the event, and in accordance with instruction from
the race director or other nominated person, including any
‘terminate race and land immediately’ instruction; and
iv. Any observers are suitably briefed and aware of their
responsibilities, including the monitoring of people or aircraft
entering the cordoned off area;
or
b) The aircraft is flown in accordance with all of the following conditions:
i. The remote pilot is accompanied by a competent observer who
maintains direct unaided visual contact with the unmanned
aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other
aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose
of avoiding collisions and advises the remote pilot accordingly;
ii. The MTOM of the aircraft does not exceed 3.5Kg;
iii. The aircraft is not flown:
A. Within an aerodrome FRZ, unless appropriate permission
has been obtained;
B. At a height of more than 1000ft above the surface, unless it is
a rotorcraft with more than 1 lift generating rotor or propeller
in which case the height shall not exceed 400ft above the
surface;
C. Unless within an area as set out in section 3.7.;

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Is it just a case of becoming a member to get these extra authorisations, or are extra tests required?

This prompted me to go and sign up to FPVUK. Now can anyone tell me what format the darn registration system wants my Operator ID in? Tried all the obvious ones but I keep getting a message saying “Please enter in the requested format” but nowhere does it say what that is!!! :rage:

Hello Simon,
I just joined. But I already have the Certificate of Competency (took the CAA test on line a few months ago) but my new FPVUK account shows no way of updating that status ?? Its says I don’t have the certification on the account created ??
Can you advise on that ??
** Edit - managed to enter my OP number OK. Obviously confusing ‘Competency to fly A Certificate’ with the CAA test !! Apologies.
Regards,
Richard

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You just have to be a member of the association (and follow the association guidance set out in the handbook) in order to fly under the authorisaiton.

When you say ‘Registration system’ are you referring to your FPV UK account?

If you enter in your CAA registration number; either a new style ‘GBR-OP-XXXXXXXXXXXX’ or old style one ‘OP-XXXXXXX’ then it will be accepted. What are you trying to enter in there?

Old style OP-XXXXXXX
I did cut and paste it so maybe I’ve picked up a non printing character or something on the clipboard. I’ll go and try typing my ID in by hand.