The (fairly new) Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, should be commended for his decisive input on this (it was absolutely crucial). Special thanks go to David Phipps who represented all of the UK RC flying associations in the final negotiations after Grant Shapps got involved.
The CAA’s complete announcement is available here and is reproduced below: https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft/Our-role/Drone-and-model-aircraft-registration/
Registration mandatory from: 30 November 2019
The UK’s new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme will go live on 5 November 2019 (please note that you cannot register before this date).
There will be two elements to the online system.
Anyone responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to register as an operator. The cost for this will be £9 renewable annually.
Anyone flying a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to take and pass an online education package. This is free and renewable every three years.
Both of these requirements become law on 30 November 2019.
From 5 November 2019 the system will be available at Register-drones.caa.co.uk.
Remote pilots flying in accordance with a permission, exemption or operational authorisation (e.g. such as the permission related to commercial operations as required in ANO article 94(5)) that has been issued to a named UAS operator by the CAA will be exempt from having to undertake the online education training and test.
Similarly, where a UK model aircraft association already has an established and CAA reviewed ‘competency scheme’, members who hold an appropriate achievement certificate or award (such as the BMFA ‘A’ certificate) will also be exempt from having to undertake the online education training and test.
Any operators who are not covered under the conditions of a permission/exemption or do not hold a recognised association competency will need to complete the free online course.
To allow operators to demonstrate competence if challenged (for example by the police) the CAA will be issuing a formal exemption that can be used alongside existing permissions / achievements and any other relevant documents. This exemption will be in place until 30 June 2020, when new regulations are expected. We will be working with stakeholders in 2020 to put these into place.
Members will not need to register as an operator with the CAA system if they are a current member of these associations. With permission, the associations will collect the registration fee from members directly and supply their data to the CAA. This will take place initially by 31 January 2020 and an exemption from the need to register will be put in place by 30 November to cover association members until then.
The associations will issue further detailed guidance to their members in due course.
Please see the following websites for more details:
The CAA will be issuing an exemption meaning those flying control line model aircraft will not need to comply with the registration or education regulations.
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