As a result of COVID-19 related disruption, the CAA have today announced their intention to delay the introduction of the EU regulations for unmanned aircraft which were scheduled to come into effect on the 1st July. The delay is for an unspecified length of time, but said to be "at least a number of months".
The UK model flying associations had been actively working on their applications for 'Article 16 Authorisations', even though the July 1st deadline had been something imposed on us by the DfT/CAA (disregarding the provision within the regulations giving model flying associations a two-year transition period until July 2022!). We had previously submitted requests to both the DfT and CAA asking that the implementation of the regulations should be delayed (for the model flying community at least!), so welcome today's announcement.
The full announcement from the CAA was as follows:
"We are working closely with the Government and European colleagues to delay the applicability of the forthcoming EU UAS Implementing Regulation to beyond the original 1 July 2020. The length of this delay is being finalised but will be at least a number of months.
We have already incorporated several amendments to the EU UAS Implementing Regulation into an updated edition of CAP 1789 ‘The EU UAS Regulation Package – Outline.’ We will publish this at the appropriate time and when the applicability dates can be included.
We absolutely commit to informing the community as soon as we have any new information on timescales for introduction so please assume this remains the current information until we advise otherwise."
We anticipate that our existing permissions/exemptions (such as operation of aircraft of less than 7Kg above 400ft / FPV operations / Control Line operation in FRZ's etc) will be renewed/remain valid.
This announcement has no bearing on the operator registration and competency requirements which were implemented under UK law and which operators of most unmanned aircraft must still comply with from July 1st before they fly (assuming we're allowed out by then!).