UK – BMFA Don’t rush to register

Well, it looks like the BMFA and ARPAS are helping push back at the UK’s drone registration scheme due to roll out in November.

Winter is coming, the indoor flying season, no need to register or you might just fly a sub 250g machine outdoors until things settle down.

This just in from the BMFA. Well done to them!

I published an update on the BMFA website on 23rd August (https://bmfa.org/News/News-Page/ArticleID/2608/An-update-on-the-UK-regulations-for-model-flyers ) which provided a summary of our position at that time. This was also going to be the basis of my article for the forthcoming issue of the BMFA NEWS.

However, the very next day I received a telephone call to tell me that the new Secretary of State for Transport (the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP) had picked up the case for us and would ‘be in touch’.

A few days later I received an invitation to attend a meeting with Grant at the Houses of Parliament. This meeting took place on Monday the 9th September and involved me (on behalf of the UK Model Flying Associations), Graham Brown from ARPAS (on behalf of commercial drone operators) and high-level delegations from both the CAA and DfT. The outcome of the meeting was that the CAA and DfT have been tasked to work in collaboration with us urgently to try and find an acceptable way forward.

This is very much work in progress and as such I cannot provide much definitive information at this time. Please monitor the BMFA website and Facebook page for further updates in due course.

However, what I can confirm already is that those who only fly control line aircraft will be exempted from the DRES requirements and I can also confirm that registration numbers can be carried in an easily accessible location (such as within battery compartments) rather than on the exterior of model aircraft.  The registration fee is also likely to be subject to a change (for the better).  These items are the starting point.

We would, therefore, encourage members not to rush into registering or taking the test when the DRES is rolled out in the next few weeks until we have concluded our current round of discussions with the CAA and DfT and issued further guidance to members. For the time being, we would suggest that it remains ‘business as usual’.

Both the CAA and DfT have given a commitment to ‘re-set’ their relationships with the model flying community and work with us in close collaboration from this point forward, a very positive development which we greatly appreciate. It’s perhaps preferable to being inundated with correspondence from our magnificent members and their MP’s! Thanks again to all those members who have supported our relentless campaign so far.

Watch this space!

Dave Phipps CEO