News Update



We have this morning registered our concern with Martin Rolfe, the CEO of NATS regarding the comments made by their representative at the Select Committee evidence hearing which took place on the 26th June, where 'drone' operators were categorised as either 'clueless, careless or criminal'.


We have received assurances that NATS would never categorise operators in the inappropriate manner described by their representative and they will be taking steps to make sure that the Select Committee understands their position.

NATS have now issued an apology on their website:

Please read update on the talks with the CAA HERE

New Important Information regarding all UK Flying

The Council urge everyone to look at both of these documents and act accordingly, this is important for the future of Model Flying in the UK

UK Model Flying under threat   Association Statement

Important information on CAA Drone Registration

This scheme will affect all model flyers in the UK including the members of the four recognised associations {SAA, LMA, BMFA and FPVUK } and all recreational and commercial drone operators.



More information here

Changes at Dornoch Model Flying Club

For those who holiday and use Dornoch Model Flying Club Field please read the full article here

Balbedie Aeromodelling Club

Midsummer Fly-In June 22nd-23rd 2019 details can be found here

Bring and Buy Sale Feb 9th 2019 details can be found here

Free Flight December 2018


The last Free Flight Newsletter for 2018 can be found  here  Compiled by Jim Armnott.

SAA AGM 2018

The upcoming AGM will be held at the Hillcroft Hotel, East Main  Street, Whitburn, EH47 0JU

on 2nd December 2018 1pm-4pm the Agenda is here

20th August 2018 DfT Drone Consultation

The DfT have recently published their consultation ‘Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK’. The measures in the consultation are part their wider drones programme and strategy, and will help shape the content of a draft Drones Bill which will be published later this year, as well as other future measures. Full information on news page

26th July 2018 Strathaven Cancelled

Full information here

24th July 2018

The recent 2018 amendments to the Air Navigation Order will come into effect on the 30th July, making it illegal to operate any unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) above 400ft.

The UK model flying associations (BMFA, SAA, LMA & FPVUK) have been working in close collaboration in ongoing negotiations with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and we are pleased to report that earlier today the CAA issued us with a joint ‘Permission’ to allow our members to continue operating ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 7Kg at heights in excess of 400ft. The full text of this Permission can be viewed HERE.

The CAA has also issued an ‘Exemption’ to allow our members to operate ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 3.5Kg at heights up to 1000ft using First Person View.  The full text of this Exemption can be viewed HERE.

Note that any model aircraft flying within 1km of the boundary of a licensed airfield at any height will have to be with the permission of the airfield air traffic control or airfield operator.

The Permission & Exemption will come into effect on the 30th July and are limited to members of the BMFA, SAA, LMA and FPVUK.  Please note that they apply only to ‘conventional’ model aircraft (including helicopters) and do not exempt multirotor drones or unmanned aircraft with autonomous flight capability from the 400ft height limit.

It was only possible to achieve this result due to the recognition given by the DfT and CAA to the excellent safety record established by the model flying associations and our members over many years and we are grateful for their help and support in achieving such a positive outcome.

Today’s announcement is a great result for the UK model flying community and is the culmination of very significant collaborative efforts by the UK Model Flying Associations working together on behalf of their members.

Happy flying!

15th July 2018

For your information, our guidance document (CAP 1687) relating to the recent ANO amendment has now been published on the CAA website link below:

CAA CAP 1687

The latest meeting between the Department for Transport (DfT), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and representatives from the UK Model Flying Associations took place this afternoon at the DfT offices in London.

The most urgent matter to address was the recent change to the Air Navigation Order (ANO) which introduced (in Article 94A) a 400ft height limit on the operation of all Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) which will come into effect on the 30th July 2018.  Whilst the changes to the ANO are largely aimed at regulating 'drones', the 400ft restriction will also apply to model aircraft below 7Kg.

However, we are pleased to report that agreement was reached that the Model Flying Associations will collectively apply for an exemption from Article 94A to allow their members to continue operating model aircraft below 7Kg above 400ft as they do under the current ANO.  The DfT and CAA were supportive of this course of action and did not foresee any reason why the exemption would not be in place in time for the 30th July.

Negotiations on the other changes introduced in the ANO, namely operator registration and pilot theory testing remain ongoing, but for now it is business as usual for members of the BMFA, LMA, SAA & FPVUK.  Happy flying! Logo

Scottish Aeromodellers Association


We are the central body in Scotland dedicated to the support and maintenance of all  model flying disciplines in the internationally recognised sport of Aeromodelling.

An important update on UK Regulations for Model Flyers


CAA & DfT Unmanned Aircraft Update

The government / CAA operator registration and pilot competency testing (DRES) system that I’m sure you’ve all been waiting excitedly for was due to go live on Tuesday 1 October, but now won’t. This is in part due to the response received from the model flying community, so thanks to everyone who contacted the DfT, CAA, their MP and others, and thanks for your continued support.

When the DRES system will all come to life, and what we as model association members will need to do and by when is not yet finally confirmed. Rest assured that I’ll update you all with the details as soon as everything is defined and agreed.

So please don’t register or take the test yet should the system become live in the meantime.


An update on the UK regulations for model flyers - a bit of good news at last!

  • 11/09/2019 20:09:00

I published an update on the BMFA website on 23rd August ( ) which provided a summary of our position at that time. This was also going to be the basis of my article for the forthcoming issue of the BMFA NEWS.

However, the very next day I received a telephone call to tell me that the new Secretary of State for Transport (the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP) had picked up the case for us and would ‘be in touch’.

A few days later I received an invitation to attend a meeting with Grant at the Houses of Parliament. This meeting took place on Monday the 9th September and involved me (on behalf of the UK Model Flying Associations), Graham Brown from ARPAS (on behalf of commercial drone operators) and high-level delegations from both the CAA and DfT. The outcome of the meeting was that the CAA and DfT have been tasked to work in collaboration with us urgently to try and find an acceptable way forward.

This is very much work in progress and as such I cannot provide much definitive information at this time. Please monitor the BMFA website and Facebook page for further updates in due course.

However, what I can confirm already is that those who only fly control line aircraft will be exempted from the DRES requirements and I can also confirm that registration numbers can be carried in an easily accessible location (such as within battery compartments) rather than on the exterior of model aircraft.  The registration fee is also likely to be subject to a change (for the better).  These items are the starting point.

We would therefore encourage members not to rush into registering or taking the test when the DRES is rolled out in the next few weeks, until we have concluded our current round of discussions with the CAA and DfT and issued further guidance to members. For the time being, we would suggest that it remains ‘business as usual’.

Both the CAA and DfT have given a commitment to ‘re-set’ their relationships with the model flying community and work with us in close collaboration from this point forward, a very positive development which we greatly appreciate. It’s perhaps preferable to being inundated with correspondence from our magnificent members and their MP’s! Thanks again to all those members who have supported our relentless campaign so far.

Watch this space!

Dave Phipps CEO




An update on the UK regulations for model flyers added 20/08/19

Please read attached document which can be found here

Member Policy Summary  2019-2020

The Member Policy Summary can be found at the following link here


Latest update on talks with DfT on UK Flying



Representatives from the UK Model Flying Associations met with the Aviation Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton at the Department for Transport yesterday (Tuesday 5th June 2019).


Whilst the meeting provided a good opportunity for both sides to clarify their position and understand each other’s priorities, there is little in the way of good news to report to our members.


It was clear that the government sees the public order and security risk posed by unmanned aircraft as very serious, which is influencing their stance, especially on operator registration.  We were informed that the details of how this approach will be applied by the police and the additional legal responsibilities placed on unmanned aircraft operators will be clarified in the Drones Bill which is expected to be published soon.


We were told that the government has the aim of introducing rules now that will enable all airspace users, manned and unmanned, to coexist in the future without having to rewrite the rules in the near future to account for new technology or the forecast increase in low altitude traffic. Model aircraft flyers will be users of this airspace, so the rules will apply to us.


As such, the Minister insists that all those operating unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) will be treated in the same way and that a registration fee will be due from everyone along with the requirement to demonstrate competence.  The Minister strongly believed that an ‘insignificant’ fee and mandatory test would not be barriers to participation.


Provisions within the EU regulations for model flying conducted within the framework of Associations (to apply targeted regulations which specifically allow model flying to continue as it does today) were robustly set aside as the Government is only concerned with UK law for now.


Similarly, previously published UK Government policy has also been set aside, in particular the 2017 Government Strategy (Unlocking The UK’s Hi-Tech Economy) which stated that the Government would “…work with model aircraft flying clubs to examine ways in which it may be possible to exempt members of model aircraft flying clubs with adequate safety cultures and practices from certain elements of registration and other educational requirements….”.


Whilst the Baroness was very clear that model flyers are not a special case, we were invited to submit our proposals for a pragmatic solution to the DfT for their consideration (albeit within some exceptionally inflexible constraints). Our proposals will be largely as communicated previously and we will submit them in due course.


We will continue to engage constructively with DfT and the CAA on this issue, as they have been clear they want to keep the channels of communication open.



New Important Information regarding all UK Flying

The Council urge everyone to look at both of these documents and act accordingly, this is important for the future of Model Flying in the UK

UK Model Flying under threat   Association Statement


Important information on CAA Drone Registration

This scheme will affect all model flyers in the UK including the members of the four recognised associations {SAA, LMA, BMFA and FPVUK } and all recreational and commercial drone operators.