The Quick Start Guide contains everything BMFA members need to know about the upcoming registration scheme and help them pass the BMFA’s competency test, should they be required to.
The latest KADMAC handbook 5.4 is now available CLICK HERE to view a pdf copy.
*** IMPORTANT UPDATE ***
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The BMFA has put together a dedicated, easy to understand website that tells our members everything they need to know about the CAA’s upcoming DMARES (Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme). This guide will help to keep our members safe, lawful and acting responsibly.
Every stage is broken down into small, bite-size chunks of information. Please take some time to look at the website and explore its contents, re-reading if necessary.
You can find the website directly at the following link:
Or, by visiting the main BMFA website and clicking on the main banner:
Please remember that all current BMFA members are exempt from the need to register immediately. Please take time to look at the website, understand the simple steps that you need to take and then plan ahead for the relevant dates.
If you need help with anything or have any questions, please contact us via:
17th Nov, 8th Dec & 5th Jan Indoor flying at Holy Family School Keighley, starting time around 2pm until 5pm
The CAA have launched their DRES system today (5th November) to allow operators of unmanned aircraft to pass a competency test and register as operators. https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/ .
They have also launched a scheme to return lost ‘drones’ to their registered owners (see https://www.caa.co.uk/News/Drones-Reunited/).
As has been widely discussed, with effect from the 30th November 2019, the law requires that anyone operating an unmanned aircraft outdoors which weighs more than 250g (except control line models, rockets or balloons) is registered with the CAA and able to provide documented evidence of their competency.
However, as per our previous updates, members should not rush to register themselves on the CAA system as they are exempted from the requirement to register until the point that they renew their BMFA membership for 2020.
Members will be able to fulfil their legal obligations very simply through their membership of the BMFA. If members give their consent (and pay an additional £9 which the BMFA will forward directly to the CAA), the BMFA will register members with the CAA when they join or renew their membership. This facility will be available from 1st December.
Please note that there is only a requirement to register with one organisation. If a member, or prospective member, has already registered directly with the CAA or with another association prior to joining or renewing their membership, they should NOT register again through the BMFA or they will be charged twice.
Members with existing achievements will also be exempted from the requirement to take the CAA’s online test. Those without an existing achievement will be able to take the BMFA’s own ‘Registration Competency Certificate’ (RCC) as part of the membership renewal process which will be accepted as an alternative to the CAA’s online test. Further details on the RCC will be available shortly.
Compliance with the CAA registration and competency requirements will not be conditions of BMFA Membership and are an individual’s personal responsibility. It is accepted that some members may be registered through other organisations and/or hold other CAA recognised forms of competency. Some members may also be engaged only in activities for which compliance is not a legal requirement.
The UK Associations are still working with the CAA to resolve detailed arrangements and further information will be published after our next meeting (14th November). The BMFA also remains in discussion with insurers to resolve any insurance implications and we hope to publish further information once the arrangements for 2020 are finalised.
Further to the announcement earlier this week, we will be working with the CAA to clarify the detail of how we can best assist our members to comply with the Registration and Competency requirements which were introduced in the 2018 changes to the Air Navigation Order and become law on the 30th November 2019 for those operating unmanned aircraft.
The changes to the law are in part to address established issues arising from unlawful operation, but also to help facilitate the wider integration of unmanned aircraft into the airspace in the future. The Queen’s Speech of 14th October announced the ‘Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill’ which introduces mechanisms for modernising airspace and Air Traffic Services and provides the Police with new powers to deal with the unlawful use of unmanned aircraft.
It is acknowledged that Operator Registration is unlikely to address unlawful operation and that those using an unmanned aircraft for malicious purposes are unlikely to register. However, it does provide the Police with a mechanism for enforcement if they challenge anyone they suspect of operating an unmanned aircraft illegally. If the operator is not registered or able to confirm competency, then the Police have an immediate and clear reason for issuing a fixed penalty notice or prosecution. Details of the punitive measures have yet to be published.
Similarly, it is acknowledged that Competency requirements will not address the issue of those using unmanned aircraft with malicious intent. However, there is a hope that it may help reduce the significant number of unlawful operations conducted unwittingly. The BMFA does not disagree that awareness of applicable regulations is an essential requirement for safe operation and during our campaign it has become evident to all parties (including the CAA) that there are, perhaps, a few too many model flyers who do not fully understand the existing regulations.
The measures announced earlier this week are interim ones to deal with the immediate issue of the changes to UK law which become applicable on the 30th November. We will be working with the CAA towards the implementation of the EU regulations in June 2020, so actively encouraging members to break the law by not complying (as some have suggested) would be counterproductive and detrimental to our ongoing negotiations.
What does this mean for BMFA members?
In simple terms, if you operate an unmanned aircraft weighing more than 250g outdoors after the 30th November then it will become a legal requirement to be registered as an Operator with the CAA and be able to provide evidence that you are competent (essentially to confirm that you are aware of the applicable laws). Those who only operate control line aircraft will be exempted from the requirements.
The CAA have agreed to recognise our members’ Achievements as an alternative to their online test and allow us to administer registration of Operators as part of our membership process. A few key points to note are that:
- The fee for Operator registration will be £9/year. Where members choose to register through the BMFA, we will collect the fee and pass it on to the CAA. The BMFA does not profit from this in any way. The CAA has to make a charge to users in order to cover the cost of the scheme which is not subsidised by the Government (unlike in some other countries).
- Members will be exempted from registering as Operators on the 30th November and can register instead as part of the BMFA’s membership renewal process (ideally by the end of January 2020).
- Registering as an Operator through the BMFA will be a specific ‘opt-in’ for members and the CAA will only receive information for those members who have given consent by ‘opting in’ and paid the CAA fee.
- The BMFA has never and will never share members’ data with any third parties without consent.
- We are still clarifying arrangements for junior members in terms of Operator registration, but there are no age restrictions for ‘Remote Pilots’.
- Members who ‘opt in’ will receive an email from the CAA with their ‘Flyer ID’ once their data is uploaded. (Should a member be asked to provide proof of registration before receiving their Flyer ID the BMFA office will provide evidence of compliance.)
- There will be no requirement to place any registration numbers on the exterior of model aircraft, but they must be carried in an easily accessible location (within a battery hatch for example).
- For members with an existing Achievement, all that they will need to do to remain lawful will be to simply ‘opt in’ when they renew their membership and pay the additional CAA fee.
- We will shortly introduce a Member’s Competency Certificate (a simple knowledge test which will be available online/hardcopy and/or via our clubs and examiners) as an alternative to the CAA system for those without an existing Achievement. Members without an existing Achievement will either have to complete a Member’s Competency Certificate or the CAA’s own test before we can register them as an Operator.
- Registration and/or evidence of competency will not be conditions of BMFA membership but failure to be able to produce evidence of both if challenged by the Police could result in a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.
- Compliance with the Registration/Competency requirements is largely a matter for individual members and as such we would not expect Clubs to automatically assume responsibility for policing it, though of course some may choose to do so (perhaps to assist those members wishing to comply who do not have access to the internet or in order to comply with local operating requirements such as FRZ permissions for example).
- We are still working with insurers to resolve any potential insurance implications and hope to be able to clarify the situation by the end of this week.
- Members will continue to benefit from the existing permissions/exemptions already granted to the CAA recognised UK Associations (such as the permission to operate above 400ft with aircraft of less than 7Kg, operate control line aircraft within an FRZ and operate FPV aircraft with a competent observer).
We appreciate that there are still likely to be many questions arising from this, but there remains a lot of detail to resolve with the CAA (and our insurers) before we can issue definitive guidance. However, please be assured that we will provide further information and guidance as soon as it becomes available.
David Phipps, CEO.
On Thursday 19th September the Council and Environmental Agency will be carrying out a mapping survey on the Moor to assist their wetland project. This entails flying a drone at 300 feet repeatedly criss crossing the Moor, our flying strip and some private properties. They have no objection to us flying but can we limit our flying height to 200 feet for the two days. If you have any problems please contact Charlie Lee or anyone on the committee. Thanks in advance for you co-operation.
Once again at Holy Family School Keighley, starting time around 2pm until 5pm. CLICK HERE for directions. Whether you fly free flight, round the pole, R/C fixed wing, heli or multi rotor, all are welcome.