UK CAA raises more than half a million pounds from drone flyers.

Another amazing FOIA request from Ian Hudson, who well, see below.

Dear Mr/ Ms Hudson

Thank you for your request of 6 December 2019, for the release of information held by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Your request:

  1. Between 1st Nov 2019 and 30th Nov 2019 how many people registered as drone operators where the £9 fee was payable?
  2. Does the CAA know the number of operators from this number that were PfCOs?

Our response.

Having considered your request in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), we are able to provide the information below.

  1. 60,300 registered as operators (paying the £9) during the month of November.
  2. In order to answer your question we would be required to manually crosscheck the 5,600 entries in the PfCO database against the Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service (DRES) database, as they are separate systems. We have estimated that to retrieve the information and establish how many individuals on the PfCO database have registered on DRES between the dates specified would take approximately 93 hours. This figure is based on 1 min per entry on the PfCO database.

Under section 12(1) of the FOIA, we are not obliged to comply with a request for information if the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of £450, which equates to a total of 18 hours of work. A copy of Section 12(1) can be found on page 4.

It may be of use to you to know that 2,700 operators registered as organisations on DRES which is likely to suggest these registrations relate to PfCO holders as they would need this to operate commercially.

If you are not satisfied with how we have dealt with your request in the first instance you should approach the CAA in writing at:-

Civil Aviation Authority Aviation House, Beehive Ring Road, Crawley, West Sussex RH6 0YR. www.caa.co.uk

Once again, Ian finds the data. We have to remember the other organisations, BMFA, FPV UK etc will come on board early next year.

So 60300 x £ 9 = £ 542,700

It is looking like they will need to find £ 2.3 million pounds worth of members to cover the £ 2.8 million a year projected operating costs of the system.