‘Drone Licence’ Facts
What Is A ‘Drone Licence’?
The first thing that you need to know, is that there is no such thing as a drone licence in the UK per say. What is commonly referred to as a drone licence is actually the CAA’s Permission For Commercial Operations, also known as a PFCO. So, when you see people coining the term as a ‘Drone Licence’, they are actually referring to PFCO’s.
You can gain a PFCO to commercially fly a drone in the UK as long as it is smaller than 20kg.
Do I Need A ‘Drone Licence’?
The simple answer to this question is: how do you use your drone?
If you use your drone for recreational purposes, you do not need a PFCO. However, you do need to operate within the CAA guidelines thoroughly. Make sure to read up on all of the rules and regulations so that you have thorough understanding on what rules to follow. Ensure you fly your drone in an allowed area at the safe distance recommended. Punishments for not following these guidelines can be as severe as a prison sentence.
If you are using your drone for commercial purposes, you definitely need a ‘drone licence’. It is illegal to use a UAV Pilot for any commission/ business based opportunities without having the correct licensing. This includes taking images and selling them, using aerial photography to map infrastructure and much more.
What Does A PFCO Course Entail?
You can choose between two courses to gain a ‘drone licence’, the PFCO Full Course or the PFCO Fast- Track Course.
There are 3 elements in which you have to pass to qualify the Full PFCO Course. This is in order to ensure that you have pilot competency in order for us to be able to refer you to the CAA. These critical elements are:
- A two day theory course, followed by an exam
- A written operations manual
- A pass in the flight assessment
Theoretical instruction and guidance is given by us at Hummingbird to ensure that you have all the needed assistance for your referral to the CAA. We will work with you to ensure that you have theory and flight training and also a satisfactory completion of your operations manual. Working together to reach your end goal; CAA Approval.
Fast – Track Course
You may already have an existing aviation qualification. If this is the case, the Fast – Track Course is for you.
With previous experience, you will find that only 2 hours of logged SUA flight experience is needed on our Fast – Track Course. You will then need to pass the flight assessment and complete the operations manual. There is no need for theory work with this course. For more information or to find out which aviation qualifications are accepted for the Fast – Track course, take a look on our page here.
Illegal PFCO’s And The Harm Done
As you may be aware, there are many rules regarding drone piloting. This is due to the potential dangers. These vary and are worth knowing, to ensure you are safely navigating your drones during flight. The rules and regulations regarding UAV Pilots are always changing, so it is best to always keep an eye on the new drone laws. Take a look at a helpful article on drone rules here.
In 2017 alone , there have been a report of over 93 drone related incidents. These include:
- Flight disruptions
- Drug trafficking
- Criminal Damage
There is a variety of ways that you can check to ensure that you are following the guidelines and rules. Our first suggestion, would be to assess whether you are in need of a drone licence. Are you doing this as a hobby or for a business? Distinguish your use of drones to find out if you need a ‘ drone licence ‘ because it could save you a lot of trouble if done correctly. Additionally, ask yourself whether your drone is safe and under the 20kg limit without needing training. Next, research in to the area that you are flying in and make sure that it isn’t within a no-fly zone. This will help to distinguish whether you could possibly be interfering with aircraft or flying illegally in a public zone or someones private property without permission. Click here to find a helpful website on where you can fly your drones.
Illegal PPCO’s And Punishments
There are serious actions faced when disobeying drone laws. These can include hefty fines and even a prison sentence for up to 5 years. It is taken very seriously especially when flights are disrupted and danger is apparent from your actions. Therefore, be careful where you fly your drone, ensure that the weight of your drone is under the maximum limit and ensure you are flying it in a safe area.
Failure to adhere to drone laws can lead to your drone license being taken off of you, hefty fines and even up to 5 years imprisonment.
We offer a range of packages for ‘Drone Licence’ Training. One being the Full PFCO Course and one being the Fast – Track Course. You will find that we have courses available in both Doncaster and Ashford, so pick the most convenient for you based on location. Our prices range from £899 +VAT for the full course and from £660 + VAT for the Fast – Track. If you are interested in booking a course, take a look at our availability online here.
Find Out More Information
You may be looking for more information on Drone Laws or the services that we offer. If that is the case, don’t hesitate to be in touch. You can either leave a comment on our blog or contact us via phone / email.
You can call us on 01302 540651.
Additionally, you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to read our blog.
Hangar 3, Fourth Avenue, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, DN9 3GE.