01 May 2020 - We have published CAP1915 UAS guidance for COVID-19 BVLOS
Operations which enables
UAS operators to apply for UAS BVLOS authorisations aimed at supporting the
COVID-19 response more effectively and efficiently. It first describes
the general factors relevant to the CAA when considering whether to grant an
authorisation for UAS BVLOS operations and then describes the specific technical
and operational characteristics that bound a simple BVLOS operation. It
also outlines the prioritisation that the CAA will afford to applications in
support of the NHS, National Public Health organisations or any similar trust
29 April 2020 – We have published an updated version of our Guidance
document: CAP1789 The EU UAS Regulation Package –
This version provides an update based on revised information and policy
developments since its original publication in June 2019.
Because of the ongoing disruption caused by
the COVID19 outbreak, it has been decided that we will postpone the
introduction of the new EU UAS Regulations within the UK by a period of at
least four months. As a result the new requirements of Regulation (EU)
2019/947 (known as the Implementing Regulation – IR) before 1 November 2020.
We are aware that the European Commission(EC)
is also considering a postponement to the IR’s applicability date but the
decision on this, and hence the final length of the delay period, is not likely
to be made for a number of weeks yet. We have taken the decision now so
that we can provide a reasonable degree of certainty for you all, rather than
continue to work towards the original 1 July applicability date and then change
at the last minute.
It is quite possible that the EC may
subsequently delay the applicability beyond 1 November, and we will notify you
accordingly if this is the case. Rest assured, however, that the date from which any person involved in the
operation of UAS within the UK will need to comply with the IR will not
be before 1 November 2020.
Our guidance within CAP1789 (The EU UAS
Regulation Package – Outline) is being updated to reflect this applicability
date change, along with a number of other developments since its original
publication, and will be published very shortly. The relevant dates
within CAP722B will also be changed appropriately, as will the relevant aspects
of the CAA Scheme of Charges.
Understandably in the current situation UAS operators/remote pilots have found it increasingly difficult to maintain their two hours of flying currency within the last three months, leading up to the renewal of their Permission or Exemption.We require these hours so that remote pilots retain the necessary skills required to operate unmanned aircraft safely. It also helps to make sure systems are in good working order prior to conducting operations by having any required software updates downloaded, installed and tested, as well as ensuring batteries are in a safe condition for flight.As an interim measure, we will now require operators/remote pilots to use their unmanned aircraft for one hour, prior to undertaking any operation. This allows operators to check their unmanned aircraft is performing correctly following a period of storage. Remote pilots will also be required to undertake a minimum of one take-off and landing to ensure they have refreshed their competence of operating unmanned aircraft, and to make sure they are working to the processes and procedures defined in their relevant operations manual. Records/logs for these flights must be maintained for the UAS Unit to check compliance during any future oversight audits.We will let you know when his interim measure will cease once the UK Government has lifted the COVID-19 restrictions.
We normally only prioritise applications from the Police, Fire or Ambulance Services. All other applications are reviewed on a first come, first served basis.
However, following queries about putting in place prioritisation for use of UAS for COVID-19 work we believe it is appropriate to also prioritise these applications.
We will prioritise applications that have the most potential to mitigate harm from the COVID-19 outbreak. In assessing these we will only prioritise applications where the operator has had their services specifically requested by one of the following organisations in relation to COVID-19:
We cannot guarantee priority of any application. This interim measure may affect the processing times of other, non-COVID-19 related, applications.
The process for submitting applications remains the same. We ask operators to use SRG1320, which is the form for Applications for Exemption or Permission for Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in UK Airspace to the CAA.
In Section 10 of this form (titled Additional Information) please state that you have had services requested from one of the organisations indicated above and include evidence of this in your documentation. This will enable the team to prioritise the assessment of the application appropriately.
CAP 722A outlines how an applicant completes a safety assessment as part of the application process for a permission or exemption.
This prioritisation will remain in place until the end of May 2020, at which point it will be reviewed and renewed if appropriate.
You'll need to get permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or an organisation acting on its behalf if you want to do either of the following:
The type of permission you need depends on:
You can find out more about permissions and exemptions at the Civil Aviation Authority website.
If you want to fly for commercial reasons, you’ll need to get a permission from the CAA.
Commercial means using a drone or model aircraft in return for payment in any way. For example, if someone pays you to record or take photos of an event.
If you already have a permission, such as a PfCO (permission for commercial operations) you may be exempt from taking the test until 30 June 2020, General Exemption E 4956.
Within the CAA the oversight of model aircraft is now being undertaken by our Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Unit. The two activities that this affects are model aircraft displays and the flight of model aircraft greater than 20Kg. In the short term very little will change but we have updated the two main application forms for these activities which can be found at:
Please use these forms from now on to make sure they reach the UAS team.
We will now be meeting much more frequently with the model aircraft representative bodies to develop future regulation.
The current edition of the guide to safe model aircraft flying CAP658 will be replaced in due course with a new volume of the unmanned aircraft guide CAP722 and so CAP658 will not be updated from now on.
For any questions please now contact the UAS unit at email@example.com
21 August 2019 – We have
just issued a General
Permission (ORS4 No.1311) which rectifies
an unintended consequence relating to permissions and exemptions issued prior
to 13 March 2019 (when the 2019 amendment to Air Navigation Order came into
force) regarding the text related to the requirements for flight above 400 feet
within the flight restriction zone of a protected aerodrome.
23 July 2019 - A new edition of CAP 722 has been published. The update follows amendments
to the Air Navigation Order and splits the content into three separate
12 April 2019 – We have published guidance to aerodrome operators and providers of ATS at aerodromes with FRZs, to more fully inform their decision to grant or deny permission for small unmanned aircraft to operate within their Flight Restriction Zones (FRZs): CAP1788 SUA Permission Guidance
20 February 2019 – Following the amendment to the ANO that will enter into force on 13 March 2019, we have published guidance for small unmanned aircraft users with an outline of the revised regulations as they will now appear in law; to provide guidance on the effects of the changes; and how they will be interpreted by the CAA. This guidance replaces CAP1687, which is now cancelled.
8 January 2019 – The Department for Transport has now published its response to the consultation on future drone legislation that it conducted last summer. The report can be found at
21 November - After reviewing evidence from DJI, we are in a place to remove some of the current restrictions if an operator can successfully apply the DJI workaround (and verify this). We do ask that all operators still proceed with caution and immediately return to home or hover if the device
doesn’t behave as expected. We continue to monitor this issue daily, working with DJI and reviewing operator feedback. We welcome any thing further from operators on this matter. Please follow the link to access our new safety notice:
January 2018 - The CAA has published
an assessment of the drone safety risk.
Register with SkyWise to receive updates about drones as soon as they're published.
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