News and Information

 

RENEWED EXEMPTION FOR FLYING ABOVE 400ft FOR FIXED WING AND FPV TO 1000ft.

 

Here are the files explaining the renewed exemption for FPV  to 1000ft and Fixed Wing flying above 400ft.

 

    DFT PUBLISHES AMENDMENTS TO THE AIR NAVIGATION ORDER. 20/2/2019

The Department for Transport (DfT) yesterday published further amendments to the Air Navigation Order which impact on all users of Small Unmanned Aircraft, including the model flying community.  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-drone-safety-partnership-with-business-launched-as-government-sets-out-plans-to-limit-drone-misuse

Further details of the amendments can be found in CAP1763 (as the CAA have the unenviable task of implementing the legislation).  You can read CAP1763 here: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1763%20New%20UAS%20guidance.pdf

Regrettably, the DfT have put us somewhat on the ‘back foot’ with this due to the speed with which they have introduced the amendment which also includes elements which they had not alerted us to.  The changes have been expedited in reaction to incidents involving small unmanned aircraft at Gatwick and Heathrow in the last couple of months.

We have reported previously on the creation of flight restriction zones around protected aerodromes, the concept of which was introduced in the Government Response to the 2018 Consultation on Drones published earlier this year and these zones will come into effect from 13th March 2019.  A useful interactive map of the UK has been created by NATS showing the protected aerodromes with the restriction zones superimposed.  See https://dronesafe.uk/restrictions/ for further details.

CAP1763 states that ‘the flight restriction zone is active at all times and applies to all small unmanned aircraft of any mass (even very small ‘toys’)’.  This was a surprising development which would in theory even extend to paper aeroplanes.

If you wish to fly an unmanned aircraft within these restriction zones, then permission will have to be obtained from air traffic control at the aerodrome.  The CAA expect such permissions to be based on a ‘constructive dialogue between the modellers/model clubs and the relevant aerodrome’ and formalised in a letter of agreement/memorandum of understanding.

One slight benefit included in this ANO update is that the existing restriction on flying unmanned aircraft over 7kg below 400ft in controlled airspace has now been removed, as the new restrictions apply to all unmanned aircraft up to 20Kg and maintain the 400ft limit for all unmanned aircraft.

We are seeking clarification and answers to a number of questions we have posed to the DfT and CAA on behalf of our members.  We hope to receive answers this week and will publish further updates and clarification in due course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important Update from Dornoch Model Flying Club

 

 

During the summer months I know several SAA members have holidays in Dornoch to take advantage of its superb Airfield, and we enjoy having them with us.

 

Until recently there have been no issues. Aeromodellers have just been able to turn up and fly taking care of dog walkers and light aircraft.

 

However, the Highland Council is now taking a more active role in operating the Airfield with the result that Aeromodellers now have to get prior approval, give proof of insurance etc. to access the Airfield and pay £18 per day for the 'privilege'. The Scottish Access legislation is being quoted as the need for obtaining prior approval for access.

 

Dornoch Model Flying Club members had always assumed that since the Airfield was on Common Good Land then access was a given right. However now knowing this is not the case means that all of us who fly there have been flying without insurance since we had no written approval from the operator to do so!

 

Once aware of this issue DMFC entered into negotiations with THC resulting in it obtaining a residents annual User Agreement with associated access fees for its members to permit their continued authorised access to the Airfield.

 

The result of all this is visitors' legal access to fly at Dornoch Airfield will require either contacting THC to obtain prior authorisation and pay £18 per day or become members of DMFC.

 

(N.B. The HC's preferred method of payment is debit or credit card. Payment can be made by telephoning 01349 886606 and stating, date of visit and code 10 41408 000 KC1802 16)

 

Now the latter is a bit daft for anyone just visiting on holiday so at the club's recent AGM it was decided to offer anyone visiting on holiday a temporary DMFC membership card which will be FREE, but no donation towards costs will be refused!

 

I would there appreciate it if you could advise any SAA members who visit Dornoch of the change which has taken place. To obtain the temporary membership card (which also entitles card holders to 10% discount at a local Model Shop) just contact our Secretary.  Details on the club's web site www.dornochmfc.org.

 

Any questions please just ask.

 

Best regards,

 

Malcolm Hayes (Chairman)

 

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.
File: DfTDroneConsultation.docx

 

File: ConsultationResponse.pdf

 

26th July 2018  Strathaven Cancelled

 Bad news I'm afraid.  The local weather forecast is so bad over the coming weekend that it's been decided there's no real alternative but to cancel the proposed LMA Scottish Fly-In at Strathaven on 28th./29th. July.   Apologies to everyone who was hoping to attend and similarly for leaving it to this late stage before doing so, but we've been watching the detailed weather forecasts for the weekend each day thjis week in the hope that firmer forecasts might have shown improvement as they became available, but if anything, today's forecast is even worse.  There's anticipated showers and local thunderstorms on Saturday with 14/15 mph winds gusting 20mph, and Sunday is forecasting rain virtually constantly throughout daylight hours with even higher winds gusting up to 35mph.   This is hugely disappointing particularly in view of the super weather up till now and it's likely return next week and considering that the airfield has now been fully prepared for the event.   However, such are the vagaries of Scottish weather.

 

 

 

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 is at the link below:

 File: UKModelAircraftAssociationsPermission.pdf

 

 

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 found t the link below:

 

File: UKModelAircraftAssociationsFPVExemption.pdf

 

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!