GVC for a club

Looking into GVC as I’m currently doing the A2 CofC course but I’m put off by the expensive nature of CAA renewals in addition to resitting the course after 5 years.

I’m wondering if there is an option to register as an organisation like the PfCO but whether this no longer needs to be a company - I.e could a group of us get together, do the course, share some drones and insurance and fall under a single registration? This might be particularly interesting for the bolt ons.

Possibility of some commercial work may arise but we are thinking having a team together for recreation first makes sense and if people start asking for commercial work then the option is there.

Interesting approach

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Both the A2 and GVC last 5 years, so no difference there. The GVC is not the equivalent of a PFCO, so you have to understand the differences. The PFCO is a Permission by the CAA to conduct operations as stipulated in your Operations Manual by nominated, qualified pilots who have completed the necessary course work and Flight Skills Test. The GVC is only that course work and Flight Test to qualify the person as a pilot. Separately, and after that the OM has to be approved by the CAA to be given the “Operational Authorisation”. That OA is the thing that is more like the PFCO. Flyby Technology are running online courses to qualify pilots to the A2 and GVC Certificates as well as complete the entire PFCO process. That means you can be qualified straightaway and have the rights grandfathered across to the New Year when the rules are expected to change. In other words, you will be in possession of all certificates and paperwork and seamlessly carry on doing what category flying you want operate within in. Flyby are not the cheapest but they are excellent at training pilots because they have been doing it for over 40 years. If you buy cheap then you will end up buying twice. Invest in proper training because that will help set you apart.

And that’s the $64,000 question, will they ?

I do understand the difference and have training through Heliguy so a good provider.

What I’m thinking is getting the Ops manual approved as a club or group. That covers the CAA fees and management and may make insurance cheaper.

There is no reason why we should not remain in EASA after 31 December. There are 4 other non-EU countries in EASA and we would be number 5.

The CAA have had a major influence in drafting these new regulations and European Operations would suffer if the wider rules change. Proof of that is the principle of Cabotage. No State can fly over another State without their approval. None of the European countries can fly to America without going through UK airspace. They do not have the fuel to go around. So do you think the Airlines would allow the EU destroy their businesses by stopping the UK flying in Europe as a reciprocal reprisal. Covid has hit everyone and no country needs to be excluded from the aviation game.
So to answer your date question. We have left the EU, we are still applying all the EU rules up to 31 Dec in the knowledge that all Brexit negotiations must be complete by years end. In my view the EU are digging their heels in and there will be no agreement. Organisations that bully its members should not be supported and I would not want to belong to such an organisation. I believe there will be agreement between all countries for aviation and the EASA rules will apply next year. That is one aspects which both sides agree upon and will benefit all. Why wouldn’t it go ahead?

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The PFCO and all Certificates are for an individual. That is the Accountable person the CAA agrees for Operational Approval. A Club is a collective, so who would be the Accountable person, within that group, for the CAA to ensure they are prosecuted for breaches of the Air Navigation Order?

As far as I’m aware, companies can submit a single PfCO application listing all their pilots, drones and organisational structure within the operating safety case / ops manual.

I’m thinking something similar here - you’d still have people with management responsibility to keep logs, training evidence and insurance for the group but the group would be comprised of a team of qualified pilots. As far as I understand it, each pilot would have to undertake a recognised course and obtain the qualifications then be listed in the ops manual.

Ultimately this would start out as a club arrangement with members sharing CAA and insurance costs and likely drones being owned by the club. Any commercial work taken on would then be fed in for maintenance and buying more drones. Lots of commercial work and then it could be run more as a commercial enterprise.

Also there is no reason a club can’t also be a limited company other than some additional insurance and accounting costs. That would protect the members and management from liability claims with the correct insurance (but not any criminal responsibility). As per most ops manuals, much responsibility for safety is transferred to the pilots flying at the time.

Well it would depend on what the CAA is prepared to accept for the OM submission. As far as I am aware the PFCO is only given to individuals and not clubs. Might be worth contacting the CAA to see if your plan is viable before committing to that particular path. An email to UAVEnquiries.co.uk would start that process.