CAA Permission for flight above 400ft

The recent 2018 amendments to the Air Navigation Order will come into effect on the 30th July 2018, making it illegal to operate any unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) above 400ft.

The UK model flying associations (BMFA, SAA, LMA & FPVUK) have been working in close collaboration in ongoing negotiations with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and we are pleased to report that earlier today the CAA issued us with a joint ‘permission’ to allow our members to continue operating ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 7kg at heights in excess of 400ft. The full text of the ‘above 400ft permission’ can be viewed here.

The CAA has also issued an exemption to allow our members to operate ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 3.5kg at heights up to 1000ft using First Person View.  The full text of this the above 400ft FPV exemption can be viewed here.

Note that any model aircraft flying within 1km of the boundary of a licensed airfield at any height will have to be with the permission of the airfield air traffic control or airfield operator.

The permission & exemption will come into effect on the 30th July 2018, but please note that they apply only to ‘conventional’ model aircraft (including helicopters) and do not exempt multi-rotor drones or unmanned aircraft with autonomous flight capability from the 400ft height limit.

It was only possible to achieve this result due to the recognition given by the DfT and CAA to the excellent safety record established by the model flying associations and our members over many years and we are grateful for their help and support in achieving such a positive outcome.

Today’s announcement is a great result for the UK model flying community and is the culmination of very significant collaborative efforts by the UK Model Flying Associations working together on behalf of our members.

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