DRONE UPDATE – IMPORTANT !!!!

Here is very recent information sent to the club from the BMFA, the matters of registration etc as well as Insurance cover, have been addressed in the bulletin. Please take the time to read as it will hopefully answer any queries you may have.

DMARES & Affiliated Clubs

 Apologies for the length of this email but please take the time to read it to the end.

We are sure that you have many questions regarding the Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme (DMARES), we have created a specific website for members and clubs with the aim of giving you a one stop site for all the information you need. Please see https://be-lawful.bmfa.org

There are 2 separate and distinct aspects to the new regulations that affect us.

1 Registration:- ANO Article 94D states

  1. This article applies to a flight by a small unmanned aircraft only if it has a mass of 250 grams or more without its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight.
  2. The SUA operator must not cause or permit the small unmanned aircraft to be flown unless— (a) the CAA has issued the SUA operator with a certificate of registration which is valid for that flight at the time of the flight, and (b) the SUA operator’s registration number is displayed on the aircraft in the manner (if any) that is prescribed.
  3. The remote pilot of the small unmanned aircraft must not fly it unless the remote pilot has reasonably formed the view that the SUA operator complies with the requirements in paragraph (2) in relation to that flight.
  4. In this article— “certificate of registration” means a certificate issued under article 94C; “registration number” means the ten digit registration number assigned by the CAA in relation to an SUA operator’s registration under article 94C.

 

Article 94D essentially means that any individual who flies and is responsible for a model aircraft or drone must register with the CAA before 30th November,  however the CAA have issued an exemption that means that BMFA members do not need to register before 31st January 2020. This is so the registration process can be completed at the same time as BMFA membership renewal. We suggest you advise your members not to rush to register, the registration for those that register via the BMFA will not expire until early February 2021, expiry for those that register with the CAA directly will be 12 months from the date of registration.

We are adding functionality to the BMFA Go Membership portal so club administrators can add CAA registration for your club members, members will need to agree to both the BMFA Privacy Policy and CAA Privacy Policy,  and you will need to collect £9 from them which you send to the BMFA with their BMFA subscriptions. This will be active from 1st December 2019 and we will send detailed instructions on the process nearer the time. If your club administrators would like some training using the portal please email andy@bmfa.org and this can be arranged.

 

The option to register with the CAA does not necessarily have to be completed at the same time as their BMFA renewal, it can be done later, however the individual does need to be a current BMFA member and over 18. The individual also does not need to already hold a competency recognised by the CAA to register. (See later)

The data that will be passed to the CAA is, full name, address, date of birth and email address, please ensure the individuals details are correct, the CAA has a process of verifying the data so it is essential it is correct (especially check name, date of birth and email address) otherwise the registration will be returned as invalid.  The CAA system requires a unique email address per individual, however if any of your members do not have an email address do not worry, we have a process in place to deal with this.

Points to note

  • Members registration can be done when renewing BMFA membership or at any point afterwards but before 31st January
  • Members data will not be uploaded to the CAA until 1st Feb 2020
  • Members will receive an email directly from the CAA shortly after the data upload containing their Operator ID
  • Members can if they choose register directly with the CAA.
  • Proof of CAA registration will only show on the Go Membership Portal for those that register via the BMFA
  • CAA registration is NOT a requirement of BMFA membership.

 

 

2 Competency:- ANO Article 94F states

  1. This article applies to a flight by a small unmanned aircraft only if it has a mass of 250 grams or more without its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight.
  2. The remote pilot of the small unmanned aircraft must not fly it unless the CAA has issued the remote pilot with an acknowledgement of competency which is valid for that flight at the time of the flight.
  3. The SUA operator must not cause or permit the small unmanned aircraft to be flown unless the SUA operator has reasonably formed the view that the remote pilot of the aircraft complies with the requirements in paragraph (2) in relation to that flight.
  4. In this article “acknowledgement of competency” means an acknowledgement issued under article 94E.

Article 94 F essentially requires anyone flying a model aircraft or drone to pass the CAA online “competency” test before 30th November. However once again the CAA have issued an exemption so that any BMFA member who holds an achievement scheme certificate is exempt from taking the CAA test.

Accepted achievements are any Basic Proficiency Certificate, Any A, B or C Certificate (excluding indoor aerobatics)

On Monday 18th November we will launch a BMFA online test called the Registration Competency Certificate which will also exempt BMFA members from the CAA test, this test will also be available off line for those without internet access via BMFA Club Examiners, and affiliated club secretaries/chairmen.

Where an individual member has their own email address and online access they should use the online version of the test as they will immediately be able to download their certificate and then update their record on the Go Membership portal.

Points to note

  • Anyone flying without a CAA recognised competency after 30th November 2019 will be operating unlawfully.
  • Juniors also need to have a CAA recognised competency.
  • Members can register via the BMFA before achieving a competency

 

The Insurance Position

Insurance cover can only be fully assured for ‘lawful activities’ and an individual who does not comply (if required by law)  will be operating unlawfully, and the insurance cover could be in question in the event of a claim.  It is also important to note that any legal costs and/or punitive financial sanctions incurred by an individual member under criminal law as a result of non-compliance will be outside the scope of cover.

The BMFA’s affiliated clubs WILL remain fully protected by the BMFA’s insurance in the event of a claim made against them, should individual members be found to be non-compliant.

Juniors and Family Members

For BMFA Family memberships, only the Family Senior needs to register and pay the £9 fee.  Family Juniors and Family Partners will just need evidence of competency such as an existing BMFA Achievement or take the new BMFA Registration Competency Certificate.

Individual Junior members (under 18) will need to have evidence of competency and someone over 18 as their CAA Registered ‘Operator’.

Club Aircraft & Training scenarios

The BMFA are still in negotiation with the CAA to clarify the requirements for Operator ID’s on club owned aircraft and also the exact position when individuals are under instruction and close supervision, both on a buddy system and otherwise.

 

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