5.8Ghz as a sUAS control frequency – Temporary suspension of PFAW issues by UK CAA


There has been recent discussion in the industry about the validity of 5.8Ghz as a sUAS control frequency – a very few select RPAS use this, most notably the DJI Phantom 2 Vision (P2V), Phantom 2 Vision Plus (P2V+) and DJI Phantom FC40. This week the CAA led sUAS Safety Partnership, a UK stakeholder group to which we are a contributor, met to discuss a number of issues including the use of 5.8Ghz as a sUAS control frequency.

Some uncertainty exists within industry about the integrity of 5.8Ghz, especially at further ranges and it was the decision of the CAA SUASSP to temporarily suspend the issue of PFAW’s to those applicants with RPAS which use 5.8Ghz. We would emphasises that this is a temporary measure until such time as more information is known about the integrity of the frequency.

To obtain this data the CAA have commissioned Resource Group UAS to conduct an operational trial of the frequency using a P2V. We have already started the trial process and will submit the findings to the CAA as soon as possible. On receipt of this data and other information from industry the CAA will make a determination about the next moves but, without prejudicing the findings, it anticipated that the frequency will be cleared for use albeit with some limitations towards the further lateral limitations of Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) – 500m.

To assist this information gathering we would ask anyone with a RPAS that operates using 5.8Ghz as a control frequency and who has encountered control issues to detail these in an email to Resource Group UAS at [email protected]. This information will be treated anonymously throughout.

Clearly this may be alarming for those students who operate a P2V/P2V+/FC40 but it is the view of Resource Group UAS that this is simply a temporary measure whilst data is collected to establish the validity and integrity of 5.8Ghz as a sUAS control frequency. Therefore, for those RPQ-s students currently undergoing training / assessment, there is no reason why you should not continue this process in anticipation of the CAA reinstating the issue of PFAW’s for SUAS with 5.8Ghz.

For more information on this issue please ring the CAA on 01293 573517.

Craig Lippett
Head of Unmanned Aviation Services

(Eds note:- does not take many seconds to find people doing things with Phantoms in places they should’nt the new flight restriction zones should change that)