On 26th April, we sent members a link to the CAA consultation on how drone registration is being proposed to be implemented later this year. With this announcement came the news that there will be a fee of £16.50
per annum, for operators to cover development and running costs of the system, training and testing of pilots, education and PR campaign, and future development costs for the systems continued improvement.

More details regarding the consultation, and how to submit a response can be found here:


Over the past few days, we have listened to our member’s feedback, and although it is generally accepted that registration is a necessary step to progress the development and trust in our industry, there have been a number of questions which have been raised:

  1. Whilst we understand that the set up costs have been funded by the DfT, the annual running cost is
    very high indeed. We feel that the procurement process should be reviewed.
  2. Will the development and education costs not reduce over time, and if so, how will this be reflected
    in the fee that operators will pay?
  3. How will the fee affect the number of young people who are entering into the drone industry, and
    what can be done to ensure they are not discouraged?
  4. How are the CAA proposing to streamline this registration system with the PfCO application process?

We understand that the CAA has received a high number of responses so far, and we are pleased that so many people are having their say on these proposals. We are also aware that other affected trade associations have voiced their concerns with the proposal and we will work with them to try and reach a fair outcome for all. We encourage members who are affected by this proposal to submit their personal responses to ensure that their voices are heard and to contact us if there are any points you would like us to raise in our response, or in our ongoing discussions with the regulators.
Once all the facts and positions are understood, ARPAS shall submit a response on behalf of our members and will keep you informed with any progress that is made. We continue to believe that a fair and productive outcome can be gained through this process and will ensure that your voices are represented at the highest levels.

We thank you again for your support.

Your ARPAS-UK Committee

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.