June 7, 2020

Drone license in the UK - Everything You Need to Know in 2020

Drone licensing in the UK
drone license UK CAADrone Licensing in the UK

Either you want to use a drone for commercial purposes or as a hobby, UK's Civil Aviation Authority(CAA) lays some basic rules which every drone owner has to follow, in order to register themselves for the drone license.

It is necessary in the UK to have a drone license?

Yes, you must have a drone license if you live in the UK. Anyways there are guidelines that you should cling to so as to confirm that you are abiding by the law.

Moreover, CAA has made it mandatory that all the drone owners should get their drones registered before 30th November, 2020.

As UAVs are still very new, the law about their usage is continually developing. So, it is essential that you are completely up-to-date regarding the most recent changes.

So, in the upcoming texts, we have some useful information for you that can help you know about the statutory requirements for obtaining a drone license in the UK.

Requirements by CAA for obtaining a drone license in 2020

CAA wants you to be registered for flying a drone in the UK. However, not all the drones require registration. The conditions for registering a drone are:

  • If the weight of a drone is between 250g to 20kg.
  • If you have plans to use the drone for profit or business purposes.
  • You should have an email address that you can check during your application of registration.
  • Possess a debit or credit card if you're registering for an operator ID.
  • You should be aware of The Drone and Model Aircraft Code.

If you fulfill the first two points(either with the drone or its usage) then it is a must for you to register your drone, and get a drone license for owning and flying in the UK. 

Drone license registration 

It is against the law that you fly a drone without registering or passing a test. So, the registration process includes the following:

  • You must pass a theory test to get a flyer ID, in order to enable yourself for flying a drone.
  • The person who is the owner of the drone or is responsible for the drone, must register to get an operator ID.

Moreover, you must be at least 18 years old to get an operator ID. However, for obtaining a flyer ID, you must be at least 13 years old.

After getting your operator ID, you are obliged to identify and label all your drones.

Besides, you can visit the official website of the Civil Aviation Authority to know more about the license requirements.

Classification of drones for registration

The latest regulations in 2020 about the drone licensing and registration include the details of drones that need to be registered. Drones are classified on the basis of:

  • Maximum Take-Off Mass (MTOM)
  • Maximum speed
  • Sound power level
  • Potential impact energy transference.

Furthermore, the classification of the drones according to the requirements in the new regulations is as follows:

Class 0 (C0)

The maximum take-off mass of such drones is less than 250g. Moreover, they have a maximum speed of 19m/s (approx 42.5mph).

The maximum operating limit for these drones is about 120m (400ft) from the controlling device.

Class 1 (C1)

Drones coming under Class 1 have either less than 900g maximum take-off mass. If they collide with a human head, the energy transmission should be less than 80 Joules.

In addition, they have a maximum speed of 19m/s (approx 42.5mph).

Class 2 (C2)

These drones have less than 4kg maximum take-off mass and they have such a design that minimizes the injury to people.

Besides, they are equipped with a "low-speed mode" which limits the maximum speed to 3m/s (approx 6.7mph) when selected by the remote pilot.

Class 3 (C3)

Drones of this category have less than 25kg maximum take-off mass. 

Class 4 (C4)

It includes UAVs that do not possess any automation, other than for basic flight stabilization (and so are more representative of a traditional model aircraft) which are less than 25kg maximum take-off mass.

Drone Training Courses in the UK

If you possess any kind of drone training certificate then it will be easy for you to obtain the license from CAA.

Most of the  CAA Recognized Assessment Entities provide you two basic courses for becoming a drone pilot.

After completion you get the following certificates:

  • General VLOS Certificate
  • Certificate of Competency (C of C)

After you obtain these certificates(General VLOS Certificate being the compulsory), you can easily apply for PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operation).

Find out more about the current drone regulations in the UK by clicking here.

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