CAA publish list of commercial UK UAS/UAV operators

Last week the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published a list of UAS operators who have a permission for aerial work in the UK. In case you are wondering we are number 117! Although the list is now alphabetical.

What’s so important about a list?

A number of us in the industry have been asking for this for a while and I see it as a great step forward in legitimising the industry and allowing customers to know that they are contracting a UAS operator who has demonstrated that they meet the level of competence expected by the CAA. The UK is leading the way on the legislative side of incorporation of UAVs into commercial airspace, we see this as a similar kind of list to those produced by other industries, such as Gas Safe for UK gas engineers. Inclusion on a list may not seem very important, but it is important for end users to ensure that the company they choose to use is on the list for the following reasons: Any individual/company who is on the list has carried out the following and been issued a permission for aerial work from the CAA:

  1. Demonstrated competent flight skills either through the RPQ-s, BNUC-S, or pre-existing arrangements for early registrants.
  2. Carried out a flight examination to demonstrate both their own skills and the failsafe features of their aircraft.
  3. Carried out a theory examination demonstrating a working knowledge including meteorology, UK airspace legislation and operational safety.
  4. Submitted, and had approved, an Operations Manual showing their own operational, safety and risk assessment procedures.
  5. Submitted proof of public liability insurance.
  6. Agreed to maintain operational and equipment logs allowing pilot experience to be shown and encouraging good maintenance of equipment, motors and batteries.

Where can I find the list?

The permanent link to the up-to-date list of UAS operators with a permission to conduct aerial work is the last link at the bottom of the CAA UAS page: http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1995

What should I do if the company I’m considering is not on the list?

Firstly, please bear in mind that the list will only be updated every three months. But the company should be able to show you their permission for aerial work certificate and their RPQ-s or BNUC-S certificate and photo ID card. Some companies and individuals aren’t aware that any legislation exists, but they do need to comply with it. If you suspect they are not a registered company then please contact the CAA at the link above. The CAA will then contact the company to inform them of the legislation surrounding aerial work. Hopefully, any legitimate company will then be happy to get themselves on the list. If you have any questions about UAS equipment, training or operations, please do not hesitate to contact me through the HexCam website.

PermissionElliott Corkecaa