CAA SkyWise on Drones


CAP 2131: Preparing to safely return back to flying (Guidance) – Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace
To help remote pilots return safely to operating following the easing of Government COVID-19 restrictions, we’ve published a short publication (CAP 2131) with some advice and tips.
Dated: March 2021

AAIB investigation to Alauda Airspeeder Mk II
We wanted to alert you to a report published today by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB): AAIB investigation to Alauda Airspeeder Mk II, (UAS, registration n/a) 040719
We have already made significant changes to our requirements and oversight following the incident. We have now received the final AAIB  report and will be looking to quickly address the recommendations. We will keep UAS operators and the wider industry up-to-date and involved in this work.
Dated: February 2021

Remote pilot minimum age requirement changes
With effect from 28 January 2021, the UK Government has now removed the minimum age requirement for remote pilots operating a UAS in the Open and Specific categories.
Dated: February 2021

Amendment to the transitional competency requirements for remote pilots
The transitional remote pilot competency requirements that are set out in Annex B of CAP 722, in relation to remote pilots operating under permissions or exemptions that have been issued prior to 31 December 2020 have been amended slightly due to an unforeseen technical issue.
For the amended text, please refer to the Latest updates section of the CAA’s UAS webpages.
The main CAP 722 document will be amended shortly.
Dated: December 2020

UAS Airspace Restrictions Guidance and Policy
The CAA has published CAP 722C – UAS Airspace Restrictions Guidance and Policy.
This CAP describes the policy and guidance for organisations or individuals who wish to restrict or facilitate UAS operations with an airspace restriction.
Dated: December 2020

Unmanned Aircraft: CAP 722 – UAS Guidance updated
Edition 8 of CAP 722 Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance has now been published.
This document provides updated guidance to all involved with the operation of unmanned aircraft in the UK and its content reflects the effect of the new UAS regulations that become applicable from 31 December 2020.
Dated: November 2020

UAS Master Glossary and Abbreviations
Our UAS Unit has now published ‘CAP 722D – UAS Operations in UK Airspace – Master Glossary and Abbreviations’ to support the complete CAP 722 series of documents for Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in the United Kingdom.
Dated: October 2020

Guidance and policy: Rotary wing Swarm Operations
CAP 722E Rotary Wing Swarm Operations – Visual Line of Sight – Requirements, Guidance and Policy has now been published.
The aim of this new document is to enable UAS operators to understand the requirements that must be met as part of an application for operational authorisations related to rotary wing UAS swarm operations in visual line of sight (VLOS).
Dated: August 2020

Unmanned Aircraft: EU UAS Regulations update
We have published a new edition of CAP 1789 The New European UAS Regulations: General Outline.
This document has been updated following the delay to the European Union Unmanned Aircraft Systems Implementing Regulation which will now become applicable in the UK on 31 December 2020.
Dated: June 2020

EU Unmanned Aircraft Systems Implementing Regulation delayed
The European Commission has delayed the applicability date of the European Union Unmanned Aircraft Systems Implementing Regulation 2019/947 until 31 December 2020.
The Implementing Regulation will now become applicable in the UK on Thursday 31 December 2020.
The EU UAS Regulatory Package – Outline (CAP 1789) will be updated to reflect the new applicability date of this regulation.
Dated: June 2020

COVID-19 – UAS guidance for BVLOS operations
The CAA’s UAS Unit has published ‘CAP1915 – UAS guidance for COVID-19 BVLOS Operations’, which enables UAS operators to apply for UAS BVLOS authorisations aimed at supporting the COVID-19 response more effectively and efficiently.
It first describes the general factors relevant to the CAA when considering whether to grant an authorisation for UAS BVLOS operations and then describes the specific technical and operational characteristics that bound a simple BVLOS operation. It also outlines the prioritisation that the CAA will afford to applications in support of the NHS, National Public Health organisations or any similar trust or organisation.
Dated: May 2020

COVID-19 – Small Unmanned Aircraft Emergency Services Response
The CAA has published the following exemption to support the industry through the COVID-19 outbreak. This General Exemption allows a more flexible, but controlled, use of a small unmanned aircraft in support of the Police response while enforcing the Government restrictions resulting from the COVID19 pandemic.
Dated: April 2020

Jamming trial to effect electronic situational awareness devices and UAS system 40,000 FT AMSL
Jamming activity will take place 10 – 21 February 2020, 0800 and 1800 GMT, near RAF Spadeadam and surrounding areas.
This may affect cockpit devices and UAS systems operating on 433MHz, 868MHz (FLARM/PilotAware), and 2.4GHz, 5.8GHz (WiFi) within 30 NM of 550306N 0023318W (spadeadam) up to 40,000 FT AMSL.
During the trials GPS moving maps and WiFi devices (including UAS systems) may suffer intermittent or total failure. GNSS jamming will also take place as part of this activity.
For further information contact: spectrum@caa.co.uk
In an Emergency or to cease jamming contact: 01697 747321 extensions 6386, 6375 or 6388.
Dated: February 2020

Small unmanned aircraft – water ingress and flight over uninvolved people
Following the AAIB’s investigations into a series of recent incidents involving the loss of control of multi-rotor small unmanned aircraft, the CAA has issued two related Safety Notices:
Safety Notice SN2020-001 – Water Ingress into a small unmanned aircraft in precipitation
Safety Notice SN2020-002 – Guidance and best practice when considering flight over uninvolved people
Remote pilots are reminded of the requirement in law that they must be reasonably satisfied that a flight can be safely made (ANO 2016 as amended article 94(2)), and so should familiarise themselves with these safety notices.
Dated: January 2020

Confidential drone safety reporting system now available
Drone users and enthusiasts can now report safety concerns and incidents online using a confidential drone reporting service. CHIRP, a charitable organisation that has been providing independent, confidential reporting facilities for the aviation since 1982, has extended its online reporting system to include drone-related incidents. The service is free to use, and CHIRP guarantees to keep reporters’ identities confidential.

CAA Approved drone operators should continue to report drone incidents to the CAA by filing Mandatory Occurrence Reports in line with current regulatory procedures although, as for other aviation professionals, CHIRP’s drone reporting facility is available to commercial drone remote pilots in circumstances requiring confidentiality.
Dated: December 2019

Guidance for the UAS Recognised Assessment Entity scheme
Requirements, administrative processes, instructions and guidance related to the operation of the Recognised Assessment Entity (RAE) scheme within the United Kingdom have been updated.
Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – The UK Recognised Assessment Entity (CAP722B) is intended for organisations that are, or wish to be, approved as an RAE.
This new edition accounts for the introduction of the harmonised European Union (EU) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Regulations, which become applicable on 1 July 2020. In line with international developments, the naming of the National Qualified Entity (NQE) has been changed to Recognised Assessment Entity (RAE).
Dated: December 2019

Temporary Danger Areas: English Channel, 2 December 2019 – 31 March 2020
A Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) will carry out operational flights in the area of the English Channel between 2 December 2019 and 31 March 2020. As the aircraft will be operating Beyond Visual Line of Sight and has no Detect and Avoid capability a number of Temporary Dangers Areas (TDA) will be established.
Required Danger Areas will be notified by NOTAM.
TDA activations will also be announced on London Centre 121.5MHz and London Flight Information Service 124.75MHz .
For more information see TEMPORARY DANGER AREAS under News at http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/public/index.php.html
Dated: December 2019

Drone and model aircraft registration
The UK’s new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme is now live at Register-drones.caa.co.uk
The requirements for registration and education become law on 30 November 2019.
Also launched today is the new drones reunited service for lost drones at dronesreunited.uk
Dated: November 2019

Drone and model aircraft registration
The UK’s new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme will go live on 5 November 2019 (please note that you cannot register before this date).
Dated: October 2019

Updated requirements for UAS PfCO applications
From 1 October 2019 a rejection / assessment fee will be introduced for applications which do not meet the required standard.
Operations Manuals will require reference to the latest version of CAP 722.
Insurance is no longer required to be submitted as part of the application process.
Please refer to our website for more information on why your application may be rejected, CAP 722 updates and the remaining requirements for obtaining insurance.
Dated: September 2019

Small Unmanned Aircraft – CAP 722 Amendment
CAP 722 Seventh Edition has been re-published with a number of editorial and other minor amendments. An amendment record has been added to the CAP 722 publication page, which details all the changes made since original publication.
The current published version of CAP 722 has been updated and contains all amendments.
Dated: September 2019

Small Unmanned Aircraft: Guidance & Policy Update
A new edition of CAP 722 has been published. The update follows amendments to the Air Navigation Order and splits the content into three separate documents:
CAP722: Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance & Policy
CAP722A: Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Operating Safety Cases
CAP722B: Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – National Qualified Entity
Dated: July 2019

Small UAS flights below 400 ft will no longer be notified
Following recent updates to the Air Navigation Order for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) we have reviewed the process for the notification of SUAS flights.
Subsequently we will no longer issue NOTAM for SUAS flights below 400ft AGL. This decision follows engagement with key stakeholders and the use of risk analysis tools and safety data. It does not affect
– the requirements for UAS operators to follow the NATS NSF and ENSF process.
– the ability for aerodromes to promulgate NOTAM’s within their associated areas should they deem necessary.
Any SUAS operators with exemptions to operate higher than 400ft AGL will be required to inform the CAA, Airspace Regulation, to enable NOTAM to be published.
Pilots are reminded to remain vigilant whilst operating both inside and outside the London and City CTR due to the increase in UAS operations.
Dated: June 2019

New European UAS Regulations
We have published an outline of the new EU unmanned aircraft regulations under CAP1789
It includes a simple explanation of the general intent behind the key parts of the regulations and our plans for their implementation within the UK next year.
It is intended to be used as an aid to reading and understanding the regulations themselves.
Dated: June 2019

Small Unmanned Aircraft – Airspace Access Report Form
Following the 2019 amendment of the Air Navigation Order (ANO), we have launched an online form to report instances where access to airspace has been denied to UAS, and where the request may not have been considered in line with the guidance set out in CAP1788 and with consideration of the interests described below.
Users are reminded that the ANO, as amended, gives provision for aerodromes to grant or deny access to Flight Restriction Zones on the grounds of aviation safety, security or any other reasonable interest. CAP1788 has been published and issued to all protected aerodromes.
Dated: June 2019

DJI Matrice 210 series drone
On 22 March 2019 the CAA released a Skywise update regarding the DJI M210 series drone and a number of reported failures.
The manufacturer has been unable to identify a common root cause and continues to investigate whether the failures are related. The CAA has received no further similar reports.
No additional restrictions beyond those in the Air Navigation Order 2016 are in place for the use of a DJI M210.
However, the CAA reminds operators to have appropriate mitigations in place if flying over persons or property in accordance with the Air Navigation Order, as was the case prior to this reported issue.
Dated: May 2019

UK Drone Registration Scheme
A consultation is now open, until 7 June 2019, on the proposed charge for the new UK drone operator registration scheme. This will become law at the end of November 2019
Dated: April 2019

DJI Matrice 210 series drone
The CAA has received six Mandatory Occurrence Reports in the last three months affecting the DJI Matrice 210 series drone. The reports have indicated that on each occasion the DJI M210 has malfunctioned resulting in rapid uncontrolled descent and consequent damage to the airframe upon impact with the ground. Reports suggest the issue may lie with one of the airframe’s motors. We are working with the manufacturer and monitoring the situation.
All users of the DJI M210 series are advised to consider their obligations under Art. 241 of the ANO and avoid flying over people or property until further notice.
Dated: March 2019

Small Unmanned Aircraft – Air Navigation Order Amendments now in force. New Exemptions and Permissions issued
Operators of small unmanned aircraft are reminded that the Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO) 2019 amendments announced previously are now in force. A summary of these changes can be found in CAP 1763.
The following General Exemptions have been issued, which reflect these changes.
ORS4- 1294: Small Unmanned Aircraft – First Person View (FPV) Flying
ORS4- 1295: Small Unmanned Aircraft with a Mass Greater than 7kg – Operations within Class D or E Airspace Outside of Flight Restriction Zones by SUA Operators Holding Permissions or Exemptions issued prior to 13 March 2019
The following new General Exemptions have been issued, which are effective immediately.
ORS4- 1296: Small Unmanned Aircraft – Control Line Model Aeroplane Flight Within Flight Restriction Zones
ORS4- 1297: Small Unmanned Aircraft – Commercial/Congested Area Operations involving the use of a Competent Observer
Dated: March 2019

Draft Commission Implementing Regulation for Unmanned Aircraft Operations
Proposals from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for a unified set of drone rules for all EU countries gained a final adoption (approval) at the end of February. Although substantially revised it follows the general principles published by EASA in February 2018 in its Opinion 2018-02. The Implementing Regulation (rules) is expected to be published in early summer 2019 and will become applicable 12 months later (June 2020). Once the final regulation is published this summer we will provide details on UK adoption plans.
Dated: March 2019

Small Unmanned Aircraft – Reissued First Person View General Exemption
Operators of small unmanned aircraft (drones) using ‘first person view’ (FPV) equipment should note that the General Exemption which permits this activity has been amended in order to accommodate the changes to the Air Navigation Order 2016 (see CAP 1763 ) which come into force on Wednesday 13 March 2019. Details of the new General Exemption, which also takes effect on the same day, can be found here ORS4 No1294
Dated: March 2019

Small unmanned aircraft guidance
We have published a document that covers the small unmanned aircraft related articles within the Air Navigation Order that will remain relevant after the 13 March 2019 amendment.
It provides an outline of the revised regulations as they now appear in law, guidance on the effects of the two recent changes, and how they will be interpreted by the CAA. It replaces CAP 1687.
Dated: February 2019

Blocking trials effecting UAS control
Jamming activity will take place 11th – 22nd of February 2019 near the STANTA training area in Norfolk within 3NM of location 523230N 0004352E.
The activity may affect UAV within 20NM (433-915MHz) and 13NM (2.5-5.8GHz) up to 40,000FT AMSL. During the trials UAS command and control systems may suffer intermittent or total failure or give incorrect notification. GNSS Jamming will also take place as part of this activity.
The activity is restricted to 5 occurrences per hour, and no longer than 2 minutes in duration
For further information contact spectrum@caa.co.uk or 01293573703
In an emergency contact 01842 855167
Dated: February 2019