UK CAA – SRG1320 Application Issues

If You Are Applying For A UK CAA PFCO SeeBelow:

As a CAA UK Restricted Nation Qualified Entity (R-NQE) we receive information by email from the UK CAA regarding drone operation and the Permission For Commercial Operation (PFCO) applications process, to help the process move smoothly. Today received one such email. The email contained current issues that the CAA are experiencing with regards applications for PFCO.  Applications that have anomalies cost the CAA in resource time and may delay your application, while the operator ensures that issues are rectified. To assist operators about to apply for a PFCO, we have extracted the core content of the email to us:

“We are currently experiencing problems with applications regarding legal entity names not being identical on all aspects of the UAV applications received at the CAA. I have summarised the issues below:

1. The applicant must only fill out section 2 or section 2a of SRG1320. Section 2 if the applicant is a sole trader or partnership and Section 2a if a registered company (as referenced on the application form).

2. The Company or Sole trader name must be identical to the Insurance Cover. E.g. If ‘ABC Limited’ is on the application form, this needs to be the exact name on the Insurance Policy received.

3. Furthermore, the Limited Company name on the Application Form and the Insurance Policy, must match what is stated on Companies House. Additionally, a sole trader cannot trade as a Limited company. We will put the application on hold and ask for all three items to be identical.

We are receiving many Applications where the applicant has filled out the Sole trader section and the Limited Company section. Also, the applicant has different names on each part of the Application. E.g. ‘ABC Limited’ on the SRG1320, ‘DEG Ltd trading as ABC’ on Companies House, and just the pilot name on the insurance Policy.  

We have been instructed by the Authorities Legal and Financial departments to enhance this part of our assessment process for the issue of a permission/approval. Therefore, you may receive a few applications returned to you ‘on hold’, as well as applicants who have applied in their own right to the CAA.”

Our summary:

♦ Check that you complete the correct section of the SRG1320 for your specific organisation type.

♦ Ensure that the organisation name is accurately completed in all areas of your application – SRG1320 and the Insurance cover document.

♦ Ensure that if operating under a Limited Company that your company name used in Section 2a of the SRG1320 and Insurance documents accurately match the name on Companies House.

If you are not sure, then ask. Either through the CAA standard enquiries email  or, get in touch with us and we will point you in the right direction or the direction in which to find the answer.

#Drones, #FPV, #DronePilot, #CAA, #PFCO, #PFCO Application, 

Drone Hobby Pilots – Our Advice


The Rules

If you are flying a Drone for sporting and recreational purposes, including recreational (non-commercial) aerial photography and videography, they are considered to be model aircraft; the law makes no specific distinction on types of aircraft, other than weight limits, and all model aircraft pilots should read and understand the guidance contained in the CAA publications:

CAP 393 – Air Navigation: The Order and Regulations – CAA Link

CAP 658 – Model Aircraft: A Guide to Safe Flying – CAA Link

CAP 722 – Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance – Auto stabilisation, flight automation and with video payloads. CAA Link

The latest version of these documents are available at the links above in electronic format and is where you may also register for e-mail notification of amendments. Before flying a drone or any radio controlled aircraft, you should make sure you’ve read the latest legal requirements.

In Summary

These rules applied with a little common sense will ensure you are complying with the relevant legal requirements.

The basic aims of the main Air Navigation Order provisions is to prevent members of the public and full size aviation being endangered, and these provisions also help to limit the potential for causing nuisance and for invading privacy.

The basics are summarised in The CAA Drone Code. The Drone Code:

♦ Always keep your drone in sight – This means you can see and avoid other things while flying

♦ Stay below 400ft – This reduces the likelihood of a conflict with manned aircraft

♦ Every time you fly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions – Keep your drone and the people around you safe

♦ Keep the right distance from people and property – 50m from people and property, 150m from crowds & BU areas

♦ You are responsible for each flight – Failure to fly responsibly could result in criminal prosecution

♦ Stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields – It is a criminal offence to endanger safety of an a/c: could = prison for 5 years

The latest copy of the Drone Code can be found  – here

Data Protection and CCTV Rules

You need to be aware that the collection of images of identifiable individuals, even inadvertently, when using a camera mounted on a drone will be subject to the Data Protection Act. This act contains requirements concerning the collection, storage and use of such images. Drone operators should ensure they are complying with any applicable requirements or exemptions. Further information about the Data Protection Act can be obtained from the Information Commissioners Office website:

Insurance For Hobby Flyers

Consider insurance; even as a hobby flyer as you may be liable for 3rd party damage and personal injury claims should you have an accident and damage is caused. This mandatory for commercial operation.

First Person View Pilots

N.B. The CAA issues an exemption to Article 94 (3) for First Person View (FPV) operation. See here for details.

Hobby Flying Locations

If intending to fly on private land, then the permission of the landowner should be sought, if flying on public land, such as a park or open access site then you must ensure that there are no bylaws in place specifically prohibiting or restricting model flying.

The other main consideration is the overall suitability of the location for the activity, and that all flying can take place in compliance with the primary “endangering” provisions of the ANO and also in accordance with the distances mandated.

There are a number of emerging applications to assist with safe Drone flying. These will identify your location and provide yo with an indication of the flight hazards including classification of airspace. With these you may also have a facility to indicate to other application users that you are flying in that specific location. Like all of these tools, you need to ensure that you keep them up to date with the latest information.


Please do not assume that just because one pilot is doing it, that it is acceptable, safe and legal. There are many British Model Flying organisations and a growing number of UK CAA National Qualified entities that would be able to provide you with the information you require.

At AJSSL we are always happy to provide independent advice and guidance to recreational pilots to ensure that they enjoy their hobby whilst flying safe and legal. We have a webchat facility that you are welcome to use for queries.

#Drones, #FPV, #DronePilot, #RCModels, #RCDrone, #TheDroneCode, 


UK CAA – updated charges for PFCO applications

We’ve been working with customers who are going through the procedure for gaining a licence to fly commercially from the UK CAA  – a Permission For Commercial Operation (PFCO) and thought a reminder about the April 2017 changes to the CAA fees.

If you’re in the process of applying, or thinking about applying to operate commercially, you may not be aware that the cost of the application rose on 1st April 2017.  Usually, these charges are outside of any course fees that you will pay for ground school and examination etc.

On the 1st April 2017, the UK CAA brought into effect their new charges for General Aviation.

The fee for an initial application for a sub 20kg UAS, for a standard PFCO permission is now £173.

Application Type

Initial Charge

Renewal Charge

SUA (20kg mass or less without fuel) – ‘Standard’ permission or exemption

(See Note 3)



SUA (20 kg mass or less without fuel) – ‘Non Standard’ permission or exemption

(See Note 4)



UAS >20kg to 150 kg (mass without fuel) – permission or exemption


(See Note 5)


UAS > 150 kg (mass without fuel) – permission or exemption


(See Note 6)


Special UAS projects

(See Note 8)


(See Note 7)


Issue of a duplicate permission/exemption



Notes referred to in the table above:

3. ‘Standard Permission’ means any simple approval to perform commercial operations in accordance with ANO 2016 article 94(5) and/or a permission to operate an SUA of 7kg or less within a congested area in accordance with ANO 2016 article 95(2)(a).

4. ‘Non Standard’ permission/exemption means any approval which involves the assessment of an Operating Safety Case.

5. Plus charges in excess of 7 work hours at £173 per hour up to a maximum of £10,000 per year or part of a year.

6. Plus charges in excess of 7 work hours at £173 per hour up to a maximum of £20,000 per year or part of a year.

7. Plus charges in excess of 7 work hours at £173 per hour up to a maximum of £100,000 per year or part of a year.

8. A Special UAS Project involves consideration by the CAA to develop the existing framework under which the current regulation of UAS is undertaken. Plus charges in excess of 7 hours would be charged at £173 per hour up to a maximum of £100,000 per year or part of the year in which the CAA investigations take place apply.

9. All excess hours would be invoiced monthly in arrears by the CAA to the applicant and payable on demand.

10. Renewal of a permission/exemption assumes that there are no changes involved. Renewals which involve changes in either documentation or operating requirements will be charged as Variations

11. Reinstigation of expired permissions will be charged at the full rate as if they were new permissions.

(Extract taken from the full document – “Official Record Series 5 CAA Scheme of Charges (General Aviation”), which can be found here)


– CAA insurance period requirements when applying and renewing – See original blog post here.

– CAA SRG1320 form you must use latest issue of this form – Issue 7 – See original blog post here.


UK CAA Information Notice – IN-2017/018 – SUA – NQEs

National Qualified Entities have been sent a link by the UK CAA to Information Notice – IN-2017/018 – Small Unmanned Aircraft – National Qualified Entities – which has the following summary:

“The purpose of this Information Notice is to notify all persons who may be associated with National Qualified Entities (NQEs), or who may use their services, of the intended role and the scope of the privileges granted under the CAA approval. It will also provide additional guidance on the CAA’s expectations with respect to the assessment process and the standardisation considerations for all CAA approved NQEs.”

The link is here.

As the summary indicates this IN reiterates information within in CAP 722 and provides additional guidance on the CAAs expectation. It is worth reading by NQEs as a reminder and for information by those who are engaging NQEs for obtaining their Permission For Commercial  Operation (PFCO). The key headings are:

1 Introduction
2 Scope
3 The Role
4 The Scope of Privileges Under NQE Approval
5 Assessment Considerations and Standardisation Requirements
5.2 Theoretical Knowledge Material
5.3 Assessment Methods
5.4 Practical Flight Assessment
5.5 Operations Manual Assessment
6 CAP 722
7 Queries
8 Cancellation

Any queries there are contact details on the IN and feel free to contact us.


MoD Competition – Autonomous Last Mile ReSupply

Autonomy on the front line: supplying Armed Forces on the battlefield. 

We have just seen that the Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin challenges industry and academia to design autonomous systems that can resupply our front-line troops. Information on the .GOV website here.

Are you involved in this Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Defence and Security Accelerator competition: autonomous last mile resupply?


Graphic From .gov website – Vignette 2: emergency battle replenishment

Graphic From .gov website – Vignette 1: Resupply at reach








This is a fantastic opportunity in an area and market that we are interested in. If you or your organisation is involved, we would be keen to discuss opportunities for us to provide our specialist support to developers or government teams involved in this competition. We feel that we have some valuable qualifications, skills and experiences that would provide a team with an operational and competitive advantage over competition. We are a small agile company with specialist Defence Procurement (DP), Integrated Logisitic Support (ILS) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) experience.

Our Principal Consultant  Alan Stevens has completed 22 years military service, 15 years in UK Defence procurement (contracted to both Industry and Government Teams) during which time was involved in Land, Sea and Air capabilities within the field of Integrated Logistics. He has been involved in support to Industry teams on complex high value bids. More recently has been involved in commercially operating unmanned air systems  (8 years) under a UK CAA permission for commercial operation (PFCO) and providing consultancy support to a range of large and small organisations developing RPAS based capabilities. The company also holds a UK CAA Restricted – National Qualified Entity. (R-NQE) allowing it to assess RPAS pilots and make recommendations to the CAA.

More about our team can be found here and Alans associated curriculum vitae can be found here and his LinkedIn profile is here

Our Capabilities are summarised here.

A list of Defence Projects supported can be found  here

We are experienced providers of discrete technical support under strict non disclosure agreements. If you are involved and wish to discuss how we can support your bid please contact us

UK CAA Commercial Drone Operator List

The latest CAA list of UK Commercial Drone Operators came out on 17 April 2017 – Version 25

It is published in a Civil Aviation Publication (CAP) 1361, on the UK CAA website here.

As fast as the list grows, there are an ever increasing number of “Drone List” facilitators. These usually charge for operators to be on their list, often with levels of membership and facilitation and therefore influences the operators promoted.

CAP 1361: Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) operators holding a valid CAA permission is the authoritative list of operators holding a UK CAA Permission For Commercial Operation. This is all of the operators that have been successful and have currently valid approvals for the categories shown. We see operators “drop off” and reappear on the list which over the years we attribute to a delay or timing issue in the list collation and the renewal process for the operator.

From 2427 operators listed in the last Feb 2017 edition of the list, there are now 2629 operators.  The list published on the UK CAA website can be used in a number of ways. Here are 2 suggestions for finding a safe and legal commercial drone operator in UK:

As a check list: It is easy to use your favourite search engine to find operators and then search the official list of names in the pdf document to confirm that the company you wish to use are currently on the list.

Browse the list: If you are starting with the list, unfortunately there are no links to the company webpages, but typing the name from the list into a search engine will provide you the contact information.

If you have queries or need assistance with either finding a Drone operator in UK or becoming a Drone operator – we are always happy to promote safe and legal Drone operation for Hobby and Commercial use; please get in touch – contact or use the web-chat facility on this website.

Please note; we pride ourselves on being independent, so we will not promote any one Drone system, operator or training service over another.

Drone Pilot Assessment – The Criteria

What’s in a UK Commercial Drone Pilot Assessment?

There are a growing number of National Qualified Entities (NQE) and Restricted Category NQEs. All operate to a UK CAA minimum criteria standard set out in CAP 722.

We see and receive a number of queries about what to expect on a Drone Pilot Assessment. Our potential pilots that approach us for assessments are fully briefed in advance, but some are from pilots entering a short intense course with another NQE, often they wish to ensure they turn up prepared. Not all pilots require a ground school. If you are unsure of your options, then please get in touch and we will provide independent advice as to the evidence you should expect to provide to the UK CAA.

No matter how your chosen R-NQE/NQE deliver the service, the minimum UK CAA criteria in CAP 722 for a Commercial Drone Pilots Practical Assessment is:

Ensure that their students are able to satisfactorily demonstrate at least the following skills during the practical flight assessment:

§ Pre-flight actions including:

§ Mission planning, airspace considerations and site risk-assessment.

§ Aircraft pre-flight inspection and set-up (including flight controller modes and power-source hazards).

§ Knowledge of the basic actions to be taken in the event of an aircraft emergency or if a mid-air collision hazard arises during the flight.

§ In-flight procedures including:

§ Maintaining an effective look-out and keeping the aircraft within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) at all times.

§ Performing accurate and controlled flight manoeuvres at representative heights and distances (including flight in ‘Atti’ (non-GPS assisted) mode or equivalent where fitted).

§ Real-time monitoring of aircraft status and endurance limitations.

§ Demonstration of the ‘return-to-home’ function following deliberate control-link transmission failure. Fixed-wing aircraft may demonstrate an equivalent procedure that results in a suitable automated, low-impact descent and landing.

§ Post flight actions including:

§ Shutting down/making-safe the aircraft.

§ Post-flight inspection and recording of any relevant data relating to aircraft general condition, aircraft systems, aircraft components and power-sources, controller functionality and crew health and fatigue.


Our process is explained on our Drone Pilot Assessments page of this website.

If you have any questions, please see CAP 722 in the first instance, and if you still need assistance, by all means get in touch; we are always happy to promote safe and professional Drone operations. Use our web chat or see our contact us page.

UK CAA – SRG 1320 Issue 7

PLEASE NOTE – PFCO Application Form Is Up-issued to Issue 7

A quick heads up to UK Commercial Drone operators as we have received an email today to inform us that the UAS Application Form SRG1320 has been up issued to Issue 7. This is to reflect changes concerning Insurance and payment methods when applications are submitted to the CAA.

The new form can be found on the CAA website – see the attached link to SRG1320:
The CAA have also added two other points to be noted:

1. Please note that the CAA will no longer be phoning customers to take payment. The responsibility now lies with the applicant to contact the CAA to make the necessary payment. No work will be undertaken on an application until the CAA has received payment for the application.

2. Please note that the CAA will no longer accept Issue 6 of SRG1320 from the 1st May 2017. Any application received after this date with the old form will be rejected back to the applicant.

They suggest that if you have any queries in this regard, please submit these to:

AJSSL 2017 Permission For Commercial Operation (PFCO)

We have just received our 7th annual renewal for our Permission For Commercial Operation (PFCO) #38

We are once again able to commercially operate fixed wing and rotary winged (Single and multi) unmanned aircraft systems up to 20 kgs in Night and Day operations.

It was great to receive the paperwork back from the CAA within the 28 working days as advertised. This was however the first time we had to adjust our insurance cover due to the CAA now require at least 6 weeks cover remaining when you apply. See previous post.

Benefits Of Drones To The UK Economy

A Government Consultation On Benefits Of Drones To The UK Economy Closes Soon.

The Title is:

Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of drones in the UK

Closing Date – This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 15 March 2017

Summary – Seeks views on proposals to harness the positive benefits of drones for public and commercial services and the benefits to the UK economy.

Whether you want to have a say or not, this would be interesting to operators or manufacturers active in the Drone market in UK.

There are 3 main documents in this consultation:

1. Unlocking the UK’s high tech economy: consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK

2. Impact assessment: insurance for drones

3. Impact assessment: mandated guidance provision for drones

To give you a view of what is covered and what sort of consultation questions are being asked, we have extracted and listed them below.

A Summary List Of The Proposals And Consultation Questions:

Proposal A: Evaluating the UK’s drone testing site provision and processes

Consultation Question 1. Is the UK’s current testing site provision for drones adequate?

Consultation Question 2. Which of the above Proposal A, Options 1-4 is your preferred option and why?

Consultation Question 3. What other options could you suggest?

Proposal B: Pilot competency, training and licensing

Consultation Question 4. Are new competency standards and qualifications needed? Why?

Consultation Question 5. What should the new standards and qualifications be?

Consultation Question 6. How should the new standards and qualifications be taught and tested?

Proposal C: Insurance

Consultation Question 7. Do you support: Proposal C, Option 1: Working with industry to develop best practice, Proposal C, Option 2: The creation of an enabling primary power to set UK drone insurance requirements, or neither? Why?

Consultation Question 8. In which of the above areas a-e would you be supportive of action being taken? Why do you support action in the areas you have picked and not in others?

Proposal D: Improving leisure drone user awareness of the law

Consultation Question 9. Other than those already described here, what other options could the Government consider to improve leisure drone user awareness of the law?

Consultation Question 10. Would you support a requirement to issue guidance on flying your drone safely and legally by manufacturers, sellers, or both? Why?

Consultation Question 11. Have you read any official drone guidance (such as the CAA’s Dronecode, the Informational Commissioner Office’s guidance or any other official guidance on drones)?

Consultation Question 12. What guidance have you read?

Consultation Question 13. How can the content and formats of official guidance on drones be improved?

Consultation Question 14. Do you support the creation of official guidance specifically aimed at helping parents and adults responsible for supervising children fly drones safely? Why?

Consultation Question 15. Do you support the creation of a labelling system on drone packaging stating the age suitability? Why?

Consultation Question 16. Would you support for leisure users the introduction of a knowledge test, situational awareness test or both? Why?

Consultation Question 17. Are you supportive of changes to the Air Navigation Order 2016 small drone flying rules to make them simpler? Why?

Proposal E: Improving Deterrents

Consultation Question 18. Do you support increasing deterrents for breaking any of the small drone laws in the Air Navigation Order 2016? Why?

Consultation Question 19. Is there a need to amend current legislation to better enable prosecution relating to drone misuse? Why?

Proposal F: No Drone Flying Zones and Enforcement

Consultation Question 20. Do you support Proposal F, Options 1 and/or 2? Why? .

Consultation Question 21. Are you a public organisation or body with relevant drone flying restrictions?

Consultation Question 22. If so, would you make use of standardised signage to inform the public of restrictions on drone operations? Why?

Proposal G: Registration of drones

Consultation Question 23. At what weight should a drone be excluded from registration? Please explain your reasoning.

Consultation Question 24. Should the threshold for exclusion from registration be based on a different metric (such as how high you intend to fly the drone?)

Consultation Question 25. If you think so, what more appropriate or different threshold do you suggest and why?

Consultation Question 26. Who should be made responsible for collecting and holding small drone registration details? The Civil Aviation Association or another body? Why?

Consultation Question 27. Do you support registration requirements not applying for certain owners of model aircraft below 20 kilograms in weight? Why?

Consultation Question 28. Do you support the registration process proposed? Why?

Consultation Question 29. Do you support a small charge being imposed on drone owners when registering their drone? Why?

Consultation Question 30. What do you think about the parameters for a charging scheme outlined above?

Consultation Question 31. Should some anonymous/non-identifying data collected by registration (such as numbers of drones in a local area) be made publically available? What data and why?

Consultation Question 32. Having considered some elements of how the registration scheme would be implemented, which of the following options is your preferred option:

• Proposal G, Option 1: Not to introduce a registration scheme;

• Proposal G, Option 2: To introduce a registration scheme in the near future; or

• Proposal G, Option 3: To introduce a registration scheme in the longer term


Proposal H: Electronic Identification of drones

Consultation Question 33. Do you agree with the proposed approach to implementing an electronic identification requirement? Why?

Consultation Question 34. Should all registered drones be electronically identifiable? Why?

Consultation Question 35. If no, what drones should be excluded from electronic identification and why?

Consultation Question 36. Do you support a pilot scheme mandating the use of an app to notify other app users and authorities that you are flying a drone in a certain area? Why?

Proposal I: Drone Traffic Management

Consultation Question 37. Do you agree with the proposed characteristics of the drone traffic management system? Why?

Consultation Question 38. Do you agree with the proposed underlying principles for the drone traffic management system? Why?

Consultation Question 39. Do you agree that it should be compulsory for a drone to be electronically identifiable in order to use the UTM system? Why?

Consultation Question 40. Should electronic identification for manned general aviation be mandatory? Why?

Consultation Question 41. How should a drone traffic management system be funded?

The consultation documents and response link can be found here: