The UAVHUB team quizzed Simon on how the Article 16 operational authorisation came about, what exactly it allows our members to do, how it compares with the Open Catergory drone rules. And also how the permissions FPV UK members have under the A16 OA compare with A2 CofC certificate of competency holders.
Give it a watch watch on YouTube here or you can also find it as a podcast where you usually get your Podcasts from. Just search for Blueskies Dronecast episode 13.
FPV UK Article 16 Operational Authorisation Interview
What is the Article 16 Operational Authorisation?
The FPV UK Drone Article 16 Operational Authorisation is a special CAA authorisation for our members. It allows you to to fly your drones and model aircraft in more places, closer to uninvolved people, and (for non-multirotors) higher, than you could under the normal Open Category rules.
Some of the highlights:
Flying FPV without a competent observer for each drone – in a sterile area (such as a cordoned race location).
Flying FPV with a competent observer. (Now rolled into the Article 16 Operational Authorisation rather than as a separate exemption to the ANO).
Flying your aircraft above 400ft (except multirotors).
Flying in a park (a built up area is normally defined as ‘An area substantially used for industrial, recreational, commercial or residential purposes’ and is not allowed. Under the authorisation you can fly in ‘an area used only for recreational purposes’ – such as a park – so long as you do a risk assessment).
Flying to a minimum distance of 30m from uninvolved people (15m on take-off and landing – so long as you do a risk assessment). This forms an imaginary bubble around the uninvolved person (unlike the open category which requires a 50m horizontal distance – ie a cylinder around the uninvolved person). This means that overflight is allowed for our members (so long as it is safe (Article 241 of the ANO requires that you must be reasonably satisfied that your flight can be safely made).