Following the recent changes to the Air Navigation Order (ANO) which introduced Flight Restriction Zones (FRZ) around protected Aerodromes (with effect from the 13th March), the CAA have now updated the PERMISSION for Association members to continue operating ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 7Kg at heights exceeding 400ft.  The full text of this PERMISSION can be viewed HERE.

There are a couple of important features contained within the new PERMISSION, including provision for an aerodrome operator to issue permission for model flying above 400ft within an FRZ.  As written, the ANO specifically excludes aerodrome operators from issuing permission to operate above 400ft in an FRZ, restricting the authority for such permissions to Air Traffic Control (ATC) units.  However, as not all protected aerodromes have an ATC unit, for some aerodromes this left no mechanism to permit model flying above 400ft.  The updated PERMISSION now addresses this situation for the benefit of Association members.

For the benefit of slope soaring, the new PERMISSION also includes permission for gliders exceeding 7Kg (up to 14Kg) to operate at heights up to 400ft above the pilot/point of launch (rather than the surface as specified in the ANO and illustrated in CAP1763 – see HERE for more details).

The CAA have also re-issued the FPV EXEMPTION allowing our members to operate ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 3.5Kg at heights up to 1000ft using First Person View.  The full text of this Exemption can be viewed HERE.

Previously, the FPV EXEMPTION required ATC permission for FPV flights within Class D or E airspace but the new EXEMPTION only requires ATC permission for FPV flights within an FRZ.

The PERMISSION & EXEMPTION have immediate effect and are limited to members of the BMFA, SAA, LMA and FPVUK.  As before, please note that they apply only to ‘conventional’ model aircraft (including helicopters) and do not exempt multirotor drones or unmanned aircraft with autonomous flight capability from the 400ft height limit.

We would like to record our thanks to the CAA for their co-operation with these updates.

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