CAA Flyer ID and Operator Registration – The Facts & What You Need (Updated 24th December 2019)

The new CAA legislation regarding the flying of model aircraft (small unmanned aircraft), weighing between 250 grams and 20 kilograms became law on 30th November 2019.

The law says if you fly an aircraft that falls within this category, you must display an Operator ID number on your aircraft (control line aircraft are exempt) and pass the CAA online test and obtain a Flyer ID number (to prove you are competent). The CAA Flyer ID has nothing to do with your actual flying competence and is purely, a very basic knowledge test, mainly aimed at camera equipped aircraft.

The Operator ID number is the one you pay for (currently costs £9.00 and lasts for 1 year). The Flyer ID (online test) is free and lasts for 3 years.

However, there are several exemptions in place, that make people who are members of certain recognised bodies / organisations and hold approved qualifications / achievement / proficiency qualifications, from these bodies, exempt from some parts of the new legislation.

To take advantage of these exemptions the laws says, you must have a copy of the exemption document with you and proof that you are a current member of the organisation involved (if your membership has lapsed or expired, you cannot take advantage of the exemptions).

These exemptions expire on different dates. BMFA & LMA members are exempt from the need to display an Operator ID number on their aircraft, until 23rd February 2020 (this date might be extended). After this date the aircraft must display an Operator ID number. Some of the original exemption documents, 1324 & 1326 have been revoked and superseded with documents 1331 & 1332 (links below):

CAA Exemption Document 1332 Link (exemption not to display operator ID number until 23rd February 2020).

CAA Exemption Document 1331 Link (exemption not to take the CAA Flyer ID test).

If you are obtaining your CAA Operator ID number through the BMFA or LMA, these organisations are submitting your data / information to the CAA at the beginning of February 2020 (Monday 3rd February seems the likely date). If it all goes to plan, shortly after this date you should receive an email from the CAA giving you your Operator ID number details. This is the number you must display on your aircraft.

All the other exemptions currently expire on 30th June 2020, unless otherwise specified. This is the date the full EASA legislation is due to come into force and everything could change again on or after this date.

Summary of what PANDAS members need after 23rd February 2020 (best to have copies of any documents you need in your flight box).

  1. Operator ID number displayed on your aircraft.
  2. CAA Flyer ID Number document (online test) or as 3 below:
  3. If you are exempt from having to obtain a Flyer ID number, proof of why you are exempt (i.e. BMFA achievement scheme qualification, BMFA or LMA recognised competency test or another recognised test). You must have a copy of the exemption document with you and proof you that hold the qualification / test you are using to exempt you, in your possession.
  4. Proof of BMFA Membership if using any of the exemption documents.

If anyone is not sure what they need to do, or what documents they should have with them when flying, feel free to email me or give me a call (details below).

Martin Lynn,
PANDAS Chairman.

Mobile: 07802 725 231


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