Article 16 New CAA Legislation from 31st December 2020

The new CAA legislation comes into force on 31st December 2020.

Document CAP 722 (link below) gives most of the details. This is an overview of the legislation and not the full legal wording document.

CAP 722 Document Link

It is a complex document and if anyone takes the trouble to read it (238 pages), you will see it is aimed at all unmanned aircraft, including most of what we fly as club flyers.

Under the actual legislation there is a clause (Article 16) that allows the CAA to exempt members who fly under the umbrella of model flying associations such as the BMFA, LMA, SAA & FPV UK etc. to exempt their members from parts of the new legislation (page 186 of the 722 document).

Article 16 has now been finalised and published (full details at the end of this document). You must be a current member of the BMFA, LMA, SAA or FPV UK to make use of this exemption. Anyone else who is not a member of one of the organisations, will have to fly under the rules of the ‘Open Category’.

The main points that affect us are below:

  1. The exemption to fly over 400 feet is retained and the aircraft weight increased to 7.5 kgs (this is your take-off weight and now includes fuel, batteries, and any payload). This is referred to in the legislation as MTOM (Maximum Take Off Mass)
  2. We still must register as an Operator (the £9.00 bit) and display your CAA Operator Number on any aircraft that weight over 250 grams.
  3. The weight limit for a small unmanned aircraft is increased to 25kgs (it was 20kgs and this again is your take-off weight including fuel, batteries and any payload) – MTOM.
  4. Aircraft weighing over 25kgs (was 20kgs) will now be subject to the CAA regulations relating to large aircraft.
  5. Control line aircraft weighing over 1kgs will now require the flyer to have and display a CAA Operator Number. There is no requirement for control line flyers to obtain a CAA Flyer ID (the flying test).
  6. The criteria not to fly near to uninvolved people is 30 metres (15 metres during take-off and landing. This is increased to 50 metres and 30 metres for aircraft weighing between 7.5kgs and 25kgs.
  7. We already have a risk assessment in place for the PANDAS flying site as part of our Wakefield council licence application.

As far as I can see we can continue as we are. I will read the legislation fully over the next few days and update the membership if I think there is anything else, we need to do.

Below are 3 documents that members can read:

BMFA Article 16 Quick Start Guide

BMFA Article 16 Detailed Guide

CAA Article 16 Full Document

If anyone has any questions or needs to clarify anything, please feel free to call or email me.

Martin Lynn,
PANDAS Chairman.
Mobile: 07802 725 231

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