• 29/05/2020

Renewing your CAA UAV Drone PfCO? Read this first.

Renewing your CAA UAV Drone PfCO? Read this first.

Renewing your CAA UAV Drone PfCO? Read this first. there have been some important changes to the Air Navigation Order 2018 amendment (ANO) that will affect the success of your PfCO renewal.

To fly your drone commercially in the UK you need a Permission for commercial operations (PfCO) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Online Applications & Renewals

Renewing your CAA UAV Drone PfCO? Read this first.The CAA have finally jumped into the 21st century and launched their online application and renewal portal. The CAA hope the new online process will:

  • Guide you through each stage of the application
  • Provide information on the documents you need to send us
  • Allow you to make payment online
  • Reduce delays in application processing.
  • You can renew your PFCO up-to 90 days before due date.


All UAV flyers need top be aware of the changes, which can found in CAP 1687 which provides full guidance for small aircraft users. Important areas you need to include in your Operational manual are:

  • ANO changes for small UAS (20kg or less)
  • 400ft height limit for all craft (unless OSC in place)
  • 1km Distance restriction from ‘protected aerodromes’
  • Future registration requirements
  • Planned Pilot competence tests

When updating your drone ops manual, ensure that the log and version number/date has been updated. If not referenced, your application will be rejected.

Renewing your CAA UAV Drone PfCO? Read this first.

Important changes to the standard Permission For Commercial Operations (PFCO) :

  • Drone classes have been reduced to 2: 0-20Kg Multirotor and 0-20Kg Fixed Wing.
  • The standard permission now also permits operations in congested areas down to 50m for all UAS 20Kg or less.
  • Flights at night will be automatically granted provided a procedure for this has been established in the OPS Manual. Procedures covering night operations must also be incorporated into your Ops Manual for renewal applications.
  • Current permissions will be grandfathered until an application is submitted to the CAA. However in the interim current Permission holders will need to use CAP 1687 to update their procedures accordingly to meet the new requirements.

The CAA hope this will simplify the PfCO application process and grant additional drone privileges to applicants. It will also help to reduce queries to the CAA, reducing costs to industry for variations to standard permissions. The current Operating safety Case (OSC) process remains unchanged.

If all in order, renewals should be completed with 5 days.

Government Drone Consultation

The UK government has issued a further public consultation regarding drone operations within the UK. Every drone flyer in the UK needs to have there say.

Full details can be found HERE.

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