The CAA have launched their DRES system on the 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.