Random fact of the day, there are now 5449 PfCO operators (20/09/19)

CAA have just updated their list of PfCO operators (they only update it every 3x months):


It’s an alphabetical listing of Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) operators holding a valid CAA permission under ANO 2016 articles 94(5) and 95(1). It contains both private individuals and limited companies.

There are now 4,219 PfCO operators in the UK.

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I feel somewhat relieved in not fully completing my PfCO when I consider the initial and renewal costs and now the relatively high number of qualified pilots/companies all trying to get the somewhat limited number of jobs in the UK.

I was trying to find a 2017 list to see what the increase / decrease in numbers was like, but I’ve not had much luck finding it yet.

Ok, found one from 2015, and this is bit of an eye opener, there were only 862 names on the list :open_mouth:

The 2015 list: 14Jul15RptUAVcurrent.pdf (166.2 KB)

Then in 2016 that number went up to 1,461: CAA_RPAS_Operators_2016.pdf (241.4 KB)

In 2017 it went up to 2,825: CAA_RPAS_Operators_2017.pdf (259.6 KB)

And now in 2018 it stands at 4,219: 20180615RptUAVcurrent.pdf (569.2 KB)

It’s almost doubling each year.

I forget who said it here on GADC a while back, but never mind getting your PfCO, there is clearly money to be made in running the training courses instead :smiley:

The agriculture sector is really hotting up with the use of drones, I’d imagine other sectors (construction perhaps?) are starting to see the benefits too. Oh, and the emergency services too :+1:

And the 2014 list had just 359 names on it: SUAOperatorsOct2014.pdf (96.7 KB)

I have 3 architects living within the adjacent 5 houses. ALL use drones! … contract, not their own PfCOs.

Ok so there are 4200 drone pilots
So with 26 million households and 2.5 million registered businesses paying VAT
So that’s roughly 6500 potential customers each
Surly there is enough to go round me thinks

Interestingly enough, is it really going to be the pilots who make the money? Or is it the people who control the data from those drones.

Just a thought.

A vast number of the larger commercial drones aren’t made by DJI, and most non-DJI drones don’t have any app that uploads data to their manufacturer.
So - probably no money to be made there.

This takes me back to my photography days and the reason I put in on the back shelf. It became more a selling job than a taking pictures job.

Shame really, I’d have loved this years world cup.


All major areas for drone usage in the future however, the media only seems to be transfixed with deliveries by drone just now. This is something I still think it going to be hard to fully implement.

Perhaps in 10 years time we will have posts like…
“How do I flash this Amazon drone I aquired?”


Could be several steps better than Yodel, tho. :wink:


Hmmmmm ….

One year ago …

Today …

That’s not as big an increase as I’d have anticipated.

a lot less pilots compared to photographers who are vying for the same work