Airworthiness requirements for Unmanned Aircraft

Unmanned aircraft with an operating mass of more than 150 kg are subject to European Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008. Accordingly, the design and manufacture of the aircraft must be in accordance with the relevant Certification Specifications similar to manned aircraft and they must be issued with a Certificate of Airworthiness or Permit to Fly. More information is available on the EASA website.

An unmanned aircraft with an operating mass of between 20 kg and 150 kg is required to qualify for a Certificate of Airworthiness under UK regulations. However, if the aircraft is to be flown within a 500 m radius and below 400 ft, or within segregated airspace, the CAA may be prepared to exempt from the requirement for a Certificate of Airworthiness if there is a level of airworthiness assurance appropriate to the UAS and the intended flights. The CAA may issue an exemption on the basis of its own investigations or by recommendation from an organisation approved under BCAR A8-22. Currently only one organisation has received such approval:

Registered Office:
Steynings House
Summerlock Approach

Light UAS Scheme
Contact: Light UAS Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 208 133 2651

For more information about airworthiness requirements, please see the Airworthiness webpages.