CAA Registration

CAA Registration & Competency Requirements

From 30th November 2019, the law requires that anyone operating an unmanned aircraft outdoors which weighs more than 250g is registered with the CAA and able to provide evidence of their competency (an awareness of the law).

Members can fulfil their legal requirements very simply through their membership of the BMFA:

  • With Members’ consent (and with an additional payment of £9 which goes directly to the CAA), the BMFA will register members directly with the CAA. Please note that BMFA members are exempted from the requirement to register as Operators until the start of 2020 when they renew their membership.
  • 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.
  • For those with BMFA Family memberships, only the Family Senior is required to register as an Operator and pay the CAA fee. Family Partners and Family Juniors will simply need to fulfil the competency requirement either by holding an existing BMFA Achievement or by taking the BMFA’s new Registration Competency Certificate (RCC).
  • Members are exempted from the CAA Registration and Competency requirements if they only operate:
  • control line aircraft
  • aircraft weighing less than 250g
  • indoors
  • model rockets

For those members registering via the BMFA, the CAA will email them their Operator Number once their data is uploaded.  The BMFA will communicate Operator Numbers directly to those members without an email address.  The Operator Number must be displayed in an easily accessible location on or within the aircraft.

Compliance with the CAA registration and competency requirements are not 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 (as detailed above).

Members should be aware that most insurance policies are limited to cover ‘lawful activities’ and therefore the best way to ensure certainty of insurance protection is to comply with the CAA’s registration & competency requirements if operating an unmanned aircraft for which they are a legal requirement.  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.

For the reasons given above, the BMFA does not expect its affiliated clubs to police compliance and as such they will remain fully protected by the BMFA’s insurance should individual members be subsequently found to be non-compliant.