UK CAA PfCO Fee Changes 2019

by | 18 Mar 2019

The cost for a CAA Permission for Commercial Operations is increasing

Each year on the 1st April the UK CAA adjusts their fee structure. In recent years there has been a marked increase in CAA fees each year. This is partly in response to the growth of the drone industry putting pressure on CAA resources. This year sees the lowest PfCO fee increase for a while, with the change broadly in line with inflation.

The new basic costs are:

Initial application for PfCO: £253 (up from £247 in 2018)
Renewal of PfCO: £190 (up from £185 in 2018)

There are changes to other costs, such as variations, operating safety cases and duplicate documentation. Please see the link to the full details at the end of the article.

Changes over time

This is how the CAA PfCO fees have changed over time. Originally there were separate fees for 0-7kg and 7-20kg, but they are now the same so, for simplicity, I have left it as if a 0-7kg aircraft was registered throughout. Since the increases in 2017 and 2018, the CAA have been able to increase the size of the UAS team, appoint new leads and massively improved the turnaround speed for issue of the PfCO.

Official CAA scheme of Charges

The CAA have published their charges in Official Record Series 5, No. 349.

You will find the scheme of charges for UAS on page 8.

Please remember the fees will apply for all applications from 1st April 2019.

It is also worth remembering that if you allow your PfCO to lapse, you will be charged the full initial fee to renew it, rather than the renewal fee.