The law has changed. From 30th November 2019, if you operate a model aircraft or drone (weighing more than 250g) outdoors, then you must be registered with the CAA and be able to provide documented evidence of competency. The BMFA has agreed a very simple process to help members comply.
Click each heading below to find out more.
Insurance cover can only be fully assured for ‘lawful activities’ and if you do not comply (if required by law) then you will be operating unlawfully, and your 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.
You can easily comply with the law if:
- As part of the BMFA Membership renewal/joining process, you opt in to the CAA Operator registration and pay the £10 fee. (The CAA will email your Operator ID to you within 90 days of renewing or joining the BMFA, you are exempt from displaying the operator ID until it arrives.)
- You register directly with the CAA and pay the £10 fee.
The CAA will email your Operator number to you.
You must display your operator number somewhere easily accessible on or within your aircraft.
You only need to register once. Please do not register and pay multiple times as you may not receive a refund.
Please Note, you are not exempt from the requirements to hold a CAA approved competency, See item 2 below
You must have evidence of a recognised competency when you fly. You can easily meet this requirement if:
- You have an existing BMFA Achievement that you passed before 1st January 2021
- You hold a valid BMFA Registration Competency Certificate which can be completed via this website (https://rcc.bmfa.uk/rcc) .
- You take the CAA’s Online test and receive a CAA Flyer ID (https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/individual) or hold another CAA recognised competency.
Please note that it is still a requirement to have a valid Operator ID on your aircraft.
If you ONLY fly certain types of aircraft, the law does not require you to register with the CAA or take a test. The activities/aircraft exempted from the requirements are:
Control line models under 1kg. (If you operate control line models over 1kg you must now register as an operator, however you do not need to have passed a competency test.)
Aircraft operated indoors
Aircraft weighing less than 250g unless they have a camera fitted
Operators of FF aircraft weighing more than 250g will need to comply with the new registration and competency requirements and should only fly:
- On sites that are clear and open with adequate open space downwind of the launch point. (With a strong wind this distance could be considerable).
- In good visibility.
- After you have ensured that any spectators are clear of the intended initial flight path of the model.
- With due consideration for other people and property.
- Outside of FRZ’s other than with permission.
If you register with the CAA through the BMFA (or via the CAA/other Associations), the CAA will store your information securely. It is not shared with any other parties.
Information may be made available to the Police in relation to specific individuals who are subjects of an investigation or prosecution. The Police do not have access to the full register and cannot search all registered individuals in a certain area.
If you are engaged in activities for which registration and competency are legal requirements, then failure to comply could result in a fixed penalty notice of up to £1000 or prosecution if challenged by the Police should they suspect you of flying unlawfully.
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’.
You can register with the BMFA as a CAA Operator (and pay the £9 fee) when you join or renew your BMFA membership. The CAA will email your Operator ID to you early in February, you are exempt from displaying the operator ID until it arrives.
If you have an existing BMFA Achievement or take the new BMFA RCC, then you have a CAA recognised competency. Job done.
It’s as simple as that!