Following a ‘strategic review of model flying’ which the CAA completed earlier this year, they took the decision that each model flying Association would be issued with its own specific Article 16 Authorisation (rather than the combined one which came into effect on 31st December).
As such, the BMFA has now been issued with a revised Article 16 Authorisation for the benefit of its members, which is effective immediately (from 17 May 2021).
The key changes include removal of age limits for remote pilots, changes to the separation distances for FPV flying, the facility for the BMFA to authorise Model Flying Display Permits and the facility for the BMFA to issue BMFA Site Permits to its Clubs (both of which may include the operation of model aircraft up to 25Kg at heights above 400ft). The Permit processes replace the previous CAA requirements for Display Authorisations and Exemptions and responsibility for these areas has now been delegated to the BMFA.
There is a lot of information to digest, but to assist with this we have produced an updated ‘Quick Start Guide’ which can be viewed at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/article-16/quick-start-guide . We have also updated the detailed guide which can be viewed at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/article-16 (the downloadable version highlights any changes with sidebars), where you can also access the updated Article 16 Authorisation document.
It has been a long and intensive process to arrive at this point, as the CAA would not sign off on our revised Authorisation until we had fully developed our documentation and systems to administer the new Permit procedures to their satisfaction.
All of this will be supported by the updated BMFA Member’s Handbook which we hope to publish later this week.
However, for most members and Clubs very little has changed in practical terms and it remains a case of ‘business as usual’.